Mateo and Annalee’s story in Only A Crush by Delancey Stewart, book two in the Kasper Ridge series, is an emotional, heartwarming, funny, charming, entertaining and heartbreaking story. Mateo is a single dad working in his home town on renovating the Kasper Ridge Resort. Annalee has joined her military buddies, who own the Resort, to help in the renovation project and serve as the event planner/chef. Despite the instant attraction between Mateo and Annalee, since they met, and as much as they feel the attraction, they refuses to act on it until a freak snowstorm strands them alone in a remote cabin for several days and nights. Both Mateo and Annalee have reasons for not being in relationships; Mateo is still dealing with the guilt of losing his wife and raising his adorable daughter Lily, while Annalee is dealing with issues from her childhood. The journey Mateo and Annalee take as they fall in love and work to get past their individual baggage was not necessarily easy; as there were obstacles along the path to a happy ending. Although I do have to say that Lily added a depth to this story as well as stole the story with her brain and cuteness; especially figuring out clues in the treasure hunt. Ms. Stewart wrote an emotional, wonderful, heartwarming romance that kept me turning the pages as I followed the twist and turns of Mateo and Annalee’s relationship. She provided a tale rich with magnetic attraction, sizzling chemistry, clever banter, the magic of friends, and a colorful cast of secondary characters giving Alexa and Jackson a chance at love, happiness, and a future neither expected. I highly recommend Only A Crush to other readers and I look forward to the next story in this series. I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book prior to purchasing it.
Oh my goodness I am in love with Mateo and Annalee and all their scarred vulnerability. This book has all the swoony sweet single dad widow vibes mixed with the hot construction worker vibes paired with the smart bombshell accomplished female military pilot vibes. Yum - a perfect combination especially once you add in forced proximity that opens up to their marshmallow insides. This heart warming story includes two strong main characters who are real, relatable people who have flaws and make mistakes, but are really just trying to just do their best being messy humans. Experiencing the journey of Mateo and Annalee as they fall in love and work to get past their individual baggage gave me all the feels - you will laugh, cry, swoon, grind your teeth, cheer, and happy sigh. Mateo is a single dad working in his home town on renovating the Kasper Ridge Resort. Annalee has joined her military buddies, who own the Resort, to help in the renovation project and serve as the event planner/chef. There has been chemistry for Mateo and Annalee since they met but they’ve both been denying it until a freak snowstorm strands them alone in a remote cabin for several days and nights thus jump starting their journey to their HEA. But hang on it’s a bit of a ride to get there. The book has a little bit of everything - sweet moments, steamy scenes, strong friendships, supportive family, laughs, painful pasts, a cute/precocious child, a bit of mystery, and all the sweet love. This book was well written with witty dialogue, characters with depth who grow, and an engaging storyline. I am really excited to read the next story and to get more clues in the treasure hunt. I willingly reviewed an early copy of this book.
I haven’t read many books by Delaney Stewart but every book I have picked up I have found entertaining and enjoyable. I haven’t read book one in this series and it was only after picking up Mateo and Annalee’s story that I realised I really should have read that book first, that being said I still enjoyed this one and I will go back and catch up with the series in time for the next release. Mateo is a man that’s easy to love, hot, swoon worthy single dad who will always put his daughter first add in a smart, strong, female military pilot and you get a seriously hot combination. There is an instant attraction between these two but as much as they feel the attraction they know they shouldn’t cross the line. Problem is fate seems intent on putting them together and they find themselves in a cabin in the middle of a storm in the middle of know where with nothing else to do but get to know each other…. This was a emotional read and I really enjoyed my first visit to Kasper Ridge. Looking forward to reading more by the talented Delaney Stewart.