More Than Love You (More Than Words, #3) by Shayla Black
Rosa's rating: 5 of 5 iScream Cones
"I don't know how to not touch Harlow."
I've just recently discovered the amazing talent of Shayla Black, so I'm trying to catch up. I read More Than Love You as a standalone, but I did purchase the first two books in the More Than Words series to read later. I'm even more anxious to do so after meeting Harlow's brothers, Griffin & Maxon.
Most of the story is told from Noah's POV, and it wasn't until I had gnawed my nails to nubs that I got a peek into Harlow's head. Noah decides to return to Hawaii, where he grew up when he retires from his career as a quarterback for the NFL. Having a successful football career for the last decade allowed him to retire in style in his dream home right on the ocean. The remote location also gives him a break from the media attention that is relentless. He bought the home sight unseen, insisting that it be ready for him to move in immediately when he arrived. What he wasn't expecting when he got there was the beauty in a red bikini lounging next to his pool. He didn't know why she was there, but he wanted to keep her...
I was very amused by the fact that she had no clue who he was, and was not impressed by his celebrity. However, she did perk up when she realized he owned the home that she was housesitting, and that made him her boss. She was ready to pack her bags and leave him to it, but that was the last thing he wanted. He was not used to having to work for it, thinking to himself, "I can't remember the last time I had to do more to attract a woman's attention than walk into a room and crook my finger."
It was obvious that they were attracted to each other, and neither had a problem with #NoStringsNookie. When her past catches up with her, they put their heads together and come up with an agreement that benefits them both. They decide to extend their one-night-stand which allows them both to hide away from the paparazzi and to indulge in some passionate playtime until things die down.
What neither of them expects is to develop an actual connection that extends beyond their mutual desire to avoid a scandal. It's those mutual desires that opened the door, but spending so much time together eventually had them talking and sharing. And then there are the family members that start popping up and nosing into their business. I really enjoyed meeting Harlow's protective brothers, the interfering siblings, and plan to dig deeper into their stories soon.
The event that made Harlow a media sensation is priceless. Noah wasn't the only one who fell for Harlow, I did too. Her snark and sass are so entertaining. But a lot of it is a cover, she's broken beneath the mask she shows the world. As much as Noah pushes for more with Harlow, she retreats. What is she hiding? What happened in her past to make her so gun-shy regarding relationships? It makes him consider, "Maybe I should stop trying to invest in a woman with more defenses than a military base." But then again, he didn't become a professional athlete by giving up, right? He's determined to find a way to make her see past her pain to a future with him. Will he succeed?
I loved More Than Love You so much. The author is so good at pulling at my heartstrings and making me feel her words. She also never fails to have me turning up the A/C, even in the winter, with her very sensual sex scenes that have me feeling like a voyeur and loving every second of it. I'm not sure if there will be more in this series, but I have a strong suspicion that there will be at least one more book. Fingers crossed. 🤞 If so, the line forms here...