4.25 stars--ONCE UPON A SURE THING is the second instalment in Lauren Blakely’s contemporary adult HEARTBREAKERS erotic, romance series focusing on the Hart Brothers. This is Miller Hart, and YA audio book narrator Ally Zimmerman’s story line. ONCE UPON A SURE THING can be read as a stand alone without any difficulty. Any important information from the previous story line is revealed where necessary. Told from dual first person perspectives (Ally and Miller) ONCE UPON A SURE THING follows the friends to lovers relationship between Miller Hart, and audio book narrator Ally Zimmerman. Ally Zimmerman has been the sole guardian to her eleven-year old niece Chloe following the death of her sister Lindsay five years earlier. Hoping to bring in a little more cash Ally sends in an audition tape knowing that if she is selected she will be singing with her best friend and the man with whom she has lusted after for close to six years. Enter Miller Hart, former teen idol, and one-third of the pop band the Heartbreakers. What ensues are Miller and Ally’s friends to lovers/ friends with benefits relationship that grows into something more. Miller Hart has wanted Ally since the first time they met but Ally was about to become the mother to her sister’s six year old daughter, and Miller wasn’t about to disrupt their lives any more than it already had. Best friends for years, Miller was shocked when he discovered that Ally had considered singing a duet, a duet that was about to bring the Heartbreakers back together. The relationship between Ally and Miller is a friends to lovers/friends with benefits romance that turns into something more. Ally isn’t willing to risk their friendship for a one-night stand but when Ally realizes she is falling in love, our heroine battles between head and heart, and pushes Miller back into the friends-only zone. The $ex scenes are intimate and passionate; the palpable sexual attraction is heavy and hot; the back and forth banter is sassy and sexy, without the use of over the top, sexually graphic language and text. All of the Hart brothers play secondary and supporting characters including Miles, and Campbell and his girlfriend Mackenzie, as well as Mackenzie’s best friend Roxy Sterling. We are introduced to Ally’s eleven-year old niece Chloe; her best friend Macy; and Miller’s ‘little brother’, seventeen-year old Jackson who is filming a behind the scenes video of Ally and Miller, for his college application. Miles and Roxy’s story line is next in Once Upon a Wild Fling. ONCE UPON A SURE THING is a story of family and friendships, falling love and happily ever after. The premise is realistic and spicy; the characters are spirited and lively; the romance is seductive and provocative. ONCE UPON A SURE THING is a flawless and energetic story that will have you wanting more.
Oh my, I love Miller, the middle brother of the Hart siblings, he is like rainbows and sunshine with his positive attitude and fun loving nature. I completely fell head over heels for him, not many things get Miller down, however, the break up of the band he had with his brothers has left a huge gap in his life. He has attempted to create a new direction but ultimately his heart and soul belong to the music he created with his family. Only Campbell (Once Upon a Real Good Time) doesn't want the rockstar lifestyle to affect his life in the way it had in the past. Taking Campbell's advice, Miller begins searching for a female singer to duet with. Miller and Ally have been best friends for a long time, seeing each other through the ups and downs life has thrown them, always sticking by each other. Despite their initial attraction to each other, Ally firmly friend-zoned them because her own insecurities took hold making her believe she wouldn't be enough for Miller. Ally is a vocal artist and singer in her own right, although her usual vocal style is completely different to Miller's. Needing to find an extra source of income, Ally adopts an alter ego to duet with Miller. The alter ego allows both Miller and Ally to unleash the passion that has always been simmering below their friendship. I loved how the usual barriers and pitfalls of falling for your best friend were turned on their head in Once Upon a Sure Thing with Ally having the barriers to accepting a relationship with Miller rather than just a fling. Her epiphany was a joy to watch unfold. The inclusion of the other brothers and the continuation of MacKenzie and Cambell's story from Once Upon a Real Good Time added to the overall depth and enjoyment of the story. While Lauren has also paved the way for Miles' story in Once Upon A Wild Fling. I have to mention the children Lauren has featured in the Heartbreakers series are seriously awesome, I like to think my children have some of these traits (although not the musical prodigy or baking sensation unfortunately, lol)
Friends to lovers is one of my very favorite tropes and Once Upon a Sure Thing did not disappoint! Ally and Miller were introduced in Once Upon a Real Good Time, but this book can definitely be enjoyed without reading that first. I do recommend it though because previous characters do appear throughout this interconnected standalone series. Ally and Miller were such a sweet and sexy couple. I loved their banter and all the little things they did for each other. Their chemistry was always simmering right under the surface and it made the eventual boil over so delicious. The easy nature of their relationship and the deep love they shared for each other made them such a wonderful pair. Miller's dirty mouth didn't hurt too ;) Yes, there is some push and pull as these two wrestle with their feelings and fears of ruining their friendship, but I really liked that the drama wasn't overblown and resolved in a way that felt true to their original relationship. Above all else, Miller and Ally are friends through it all. Catching up with Campbell and Mackenzie was fun and I love how the stories are coming together. Once Upon a Sure Thing was a sweet and light friends to lovers romcom and I'm excited to see what Lauren Blakely has in store for us next with the youngest Heartbreaker, Miles!