Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Nobody's Fool (Willow Park #2) by Sarah Hegger - Blog Tour, Excerpt, Review & Giveaway

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Nobody's Fool
Willow Park #2
Sarah Hegger
Released August 25th, 2015
Kensington Books : Zebra

In Sarah Hegger's latest Willow Park Romance, long-held crushes and past frenemies reunite--and wonder if there's ever a second chance to make a good first impression. .

Holly Partridge had no plans to return to Willow Park, Illinois, until her troubled younger sister Portia fled her home and aimed herself straight at Holly's high school nemesis--too-gorgeous-to-be-true Josh Hunter. Riding a manic bipolar high, Portia's only a danger to herself, but Holly needs to find her before she crashes. That means asking Josh for help.

The ultimate love 'em and leave 'em lothario, Josh was never good for anything but a broken heart. But now he's lending a hand when Holly needs it most--and revealing surprising generosity and compassion. Has Josh shed his bad boy ways? Or is Holly suddenly grown up enough to acknowledge her own mistakes? Trusting Josh could be a disaster--or the first step in banishing the past to make way for a future happier than Holly ever imagined. .

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A set of keys dangled from Josh’s index finger as he strode toward her. It wasn’t right a man could walk like that. An easy, feline lope that made her want to slap a pair of six-shooters around his lean hips. He stopped in front of where she sat and glanced down his perfect nose at her.
Holly braced for whatever wisecrack he had brewing in his pretty head.
“We don’t like each other much, but I’m going to help you.”
“Say again?”
“You need help and I’ve decided to help you.” He nodded. “Chalk it up to some latent feeling of childhood sentimentality.”
Oh, man, wasn’t he a laugh a minute. “Good one, pretty boy.”
“I mean it.” He shifted the gym bag. “I’m going to help you find your sister.”
She half-believed he might be serious. She wanted to stand so he wouldn’t be looming over her, but she also didn’t want him to know she was feeling intimidated. In the end, she settled for leaning back on her arms, dropping her head to the side, and staring up at an angle. It wasn’t the most comfortable position for her neck, but it did have a sort of Rebel Without a Cause air to it.
“Is your neck stiff or something?”
“No.” Her cheeks burned.
“Anyway, as I see it, you’re in need of help and I’m going to give it to you.”
“Are you serious?”
“Get real.” Like she would believe that?
He raised one eyebrow. “Right back at you, babe. You have no transport, no money, no passport, ergo no way to get home, and nothing but the clothes you’re wearing.”
“I have my phone.”
Up went his eyebrow again. “How comforting.”
“Don’t call me babe either.” God, he was a cocksure son of a bitch.
“Note to self.” His jaw tightened. “Don’t call me pretty boy.”
No way in hell she was agreeing to that. Holly stood up. It didn’t help. He still lurked a good head above her.  “I didn’t ask you for help. I don’t even want your help.”
They locked eyes.
“That’s true,” he said. “But you’re getting it anyway.”
“Back off, pretty boy.”
His eyes narrowed at her and his nostrils flared.
It was a bit thrilling, in truth. Holly stood her ground, prickles of sensation coursing up and down her spine.
“Don’t you need to find your sister?” His voice grew silky smooth, but she wasn’t going to fall for his trap and relax her guard.
“I do.”
“Good.” He adjusted his grip on the gym bag and nodded, as if the matter was settled. “The first step is to see what we can find out about your sister.”
“Hey.” The steamroller went right over her head.
“I’m pretty sure she’s not hanging around your old house in the middle of the night, but maybe we can stumble across something useful.” He turned and strode off across the lobby, headed toward an exit door partially concealed by a bank of glossy green foliage. “Come on. Babe.”
“Where?” And dammit all if she didn’t trot after him. It was his help that got her moving, not some deeply conditioned master/slave mentality—the finest of the species holding dominion over the lesser beings, or some crap.
“That’s what you need to tell me.” He said it patiently, as if he were afraid she wouldn’t get his meaning if he used too many big words.
“I don’t know where she is, genius.” Holly almost plowed into his broad back as he stopped suddenly.
He frowned down at her. “You must have some idea.”
“I think she’s in Willow Park,” she said. “But I was there earlier tonight and I couldn’t find her.”
“So where were you going?”
“Earlier, before your car was stolen.”
“I was going back to Willow Park.”
He made a soft moan of irritation and turned to loom over her. “You’re not making any sense. I seem to be missing some pieces of this puzzle.”
“You are missing a great many pieces of the puzzle.” He absolutely was the most condescending ass on the planet. “But, as this has nothing to do with you, you are going to carry on missing those pieces.”
His eyes narrowed.
Holly straightened her shoulders and glared back. Blue clashed with black and held. Neither of them moved a muscle.
Somewhere El Düguello wailed.
“Fine.” He threw up one hand. “But I’m going to Willow Park right now. You make up your mind if you want to come along.”
He slapped open the exit door and disappeared.
Holly narrowly caught it before it swung back and banged into her. She followed him down the stairwell feeling ridiculous.
His jeans weren’t tight, but they framed his spectacular ass.
If she was looking, which she wasn’t. It just happened to be there.
Oh, get real, Holly. She lost patience with herself. She was so checking him out. It couldn’t be helped. He’d always been a rather superior specimen, and she’d have to be dead from the neck down not to notice. It didn’t mean she liked him, though, because she didn’t.
She stood there for a moment, warring with herself. It was a brief but bloody skirmish, and in the end the need to find Portia won. Right now, she was screwed without him. The idea got stuck in a wad in the back of her throat.
He stopped at a door at the bottom of the short stairwell. “Did you say something?”
He ran one hand through his hair, raking his fingers across the scalp. “Come on, Holly. Stop being so goddamned stubborn. You need help and I’m offering. After you’ve found your sister, you can go back to hating me. Okay?” His tone got smooth and persuasive, like he was selling youth elixir, which was why she was floored to feel her hackles starting to lower.
“It’s no big deal.” He continued to dole out the charm. “Let me drive you over to Willow Park to have a look around. Have you called the police?”
“Yes. Why are you being nice to me?” Holly waited for the other boot to drop.
“I am nice.” His voice bounced off concrete and back at her. “You’re probably the only woman I know who doesn’t think so.”
“Lucky me.” He was probably right about the only woman thing.
“Now, get your ass down here.” There was a tense pause, then his jaw went granite. “Please?”
Pathetically easy, but rather satisfying all the same. Holly hopped down the steps and followed him into the parking garage.
There weren’t many cars and all of them were expensive. She skirted a vintage Bentley and paused in midstride to admire the lines on a cherry red Ferrari.
Josh bent down to open his car and she stopped dead in her tracks.
“That’s your car?” She burst out laughing. This was priceless.
“What?” He ruffled up. “It’s a nineteen sixty-seven series one and a half XK-E Jaguar.”
Holly laughed harder, and he raised his voice over the sound of her cackles rebounding around the parking garage. “It might interest you to note that Enzo Ferrari said it was the most beautiful car ever built.”
“Oh, I’m sure he did.” Holly gasped to get her breath back. “Because that, my friend, is a penis on wheels.”
“Get in.” 

Enjoyable enemies to lovers romance with lots of family drama. Holly ends up needing Josh's help to find her sister. While she grudgingly accepts his help, she begins to see that Josh is not the same person she knew in high school. Holly has tons of baggage and even though she and Josh grow closer, things get complicated once they find her sister. Josh is sexy and caring, so I totally understand why Holly lets down her guard around him. But for every step forward they take, Holly takes one back, blaming it on her sister's needs. Her going back and forth hurts Josh and was a bit frustrating for me. It's was great to see that she finally understood that having her own life is no less important than being there for her siblings, and that it does not make her a bad person. I absolutely loved the first book in the series and it was great to see Richard and Lucy again. So far we've seen Richard and Josh find love, can't wait for their brother Thomas' turn!

I received an ARC via NetGalley for the purpose of an honest review. I was not compensated for this review, all conclusions are my own.

Born British and raised in South Africa, Sarah Hegger suffers from an incurable case of wanderlust. Her match? A hot Canadian engineer, whose marriage proposal she accepted six short weeks after they first met. Together they’ve made homes in seven different cities across three different continents (and back again once or twice). If only it made her multilingual, but the best she can manage is idiosyncratic English, fluent Afrikaans, conversant Russian, pigeon Portuguese, even worse Zulu and enough French to get herself into trouble.

Mimicking her globe trotting adventures, Sarah’s career path began as a gainfully employed actress, drifted into public relations, settled a moment in advertising, and eventually took root in the fertile soil of her first love, writing. She also moonlights as a wife and mother.She currently lives in Draper, Utah, with her teenage daughters, two Golden Retrievers and aforementioned husband. Part footloose buccaneer, part quixotic observer of life, Sarah’s restless heart is most content when reading or writing books.

She loves to hear from readers and you can find her at any of the places below.