Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Candy Hearts Romance reviews: ASK ME by Laura Strickland

About the Book: 
Alone on Valentine’s Day, Leo Rankin attends the library’s Blind Date With a Book event hoping for something he can take to bed with him that night, and finds himself competing against Gerri Webb for the last remaining book. Wild child Gerri is not his usual type. Yet he feels an immediate, sizzling attraction and agrees to share the book and its accompanying bag of candy hearts. 
The whole idea of a Blind Date With a Book is to go off genre, so Gerri doesn’t mind when their flirty conversation suggests they unwrap each other rather than the mystery book. When a candy heart advises, “Ask Me,” she asks Leo back to her apartment. She never expects button-down Leo to hit all her buttons, but by the next morning she fears her heart’s in danger. Can one night spent off genre translate to real life?

“Be a gentleman,” the black-haired woman told Leo, “and let me have the book.” She already had her library card out, clutched in her other hand.

“Why don’t you share it?” the clerk suggested impishly. “See what happens.”

The black-haired woman laughed a bit nervously. Before Leo could speak, the clerk snatched the library card from her hand and wanded the book. “There you go. Oh, and every book comes with a little bag of candy hearts. Have a happy Valentine’s Day.”

Leo frowned and snatched the small, red bag the clerk pushed across the counter at him. Elsewhere in the building, lights dimmed. They had little choice but to leave.

Yet the woman still clutched her side of the book.

“Who gets to take it home?” she asked.

Leo smiled suddenly. “Pretty ridiculous to be negotiating over an unknown book for company tonight, isn’t it?”

“Pitiful,” she agreed.

Leo hesitated, impulse nibbling at him once again. He could suggest they get a coffee or a drink together. Sure, she was a far cry from the kind of woman he usually dated, almost diametrically opposed. But it beat being alone, right?

She gave him a provocative look. “Maybe the candy hearts hold the answer to who gets the book first.” She dug into the small, red bag in his hand to draw forth a single heart, and Leo saw her fingernails were painted black. She opened her palm with the heart on it, words facing upward.

Ask Me, Leo read.

Well, then. He drew a breath. “Want to go somewhere for coffee?”

My Take:

I loved this well written story of two opposites attracting! And I totally loved the premise of the cute-meet: the local library offering "blind date with a book." How awesome!

The library meant that the books were all wrapped so the reader doesn't know what they are checking out until they get it home. With only one book left on the shelf for the promotion, our two main characters decide to take things a little more literally and share the book, as well as a Valentine's date.

Things progress and get steamy, until fear of the unknown puts a chill into things. She's a tattoo artist and he's a college professor. Two totally different worlds, and the pair have trouble realizing how perfect they are for each other.

Told in alternating viewpoints, the author does a wonderful job of showing the insecurities on both sides as well as the longing for acceptance and love. Initially, I thought the story would be darker or edgier - both the cover art and idea of a tattoo artist led me down that thought path - but the story is light and fun.I enjoyed the author's style and can't wait to read more of her works! 5 candy hearts for this sweet and sexy story!

About the Author:

Born and raised in Western New York, Laura Strickland has pursued lifelong interests in lore, legend, magic and music, all reflected in her writing. Though her imagination frequently takes her to far off places, she is usually happiest at home not far from Lake Ontario with her husband and her "fur" child, a rescue dog. 
Author of Scottish romances Devil Black and His Wicked Highland Ways as well as The Guardians of Sherwood Trilogy consisting of Daughter of Sherwood, Champion of Sherwood and Lord of Sherwood, she has also published two Steampunk romances, Dead Handsome: a Buffalo Steampunk Adventure and Off Kilter: a Buffalo Steampunk Adventure as well as two Christmas novellas: The Tenth Suitor and Mrs. Claus and the Viking Ship. Her Lobster Cove Historical Romance, The White Gull, is the prequel to her new release, Forged By Love, a Lobster Cove novella. Ask Me is her first Romantic Comedy. Find Laura online at

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