I told you I'd have the review of Sunset in Central Park done in a more timely fashion! This is the second book in Sarah Morgan's From Manhattan with Love series (the first is Sleepless in Manhattan and you can read my review here) and it was just as delightful as the first. (So, pretty delightful!)
Here's the synopsis:
In the chaos of New York, true love can be hard to find, even when it's been right under your nose all along…
Love has never been a priority for garden designer Frankie Cole. After witnessing the fallout of her parents' divorce, she's seen the devastation an overload of emotion can cause. The only man she feels comfortable with is her friend Matt—but that's strictly platonic. If only she found it easier to ignore the way he makes her heart race…
Matt Walker has loved Frankie for years but, sensing how fragile she is beneath her feisty exterior, has always played it cool. But then he uncovers new depths to the girl he's known forever and doesn't want to wait a moment longer. He knows Frankie has secrets and has buried them deep, but can Matt persuade her to trust him with her heart and kiss him under the Manhattan sunset?
As with most series like this - where each book follows a different couple - I was worried that I wouldn't like it as much as the first. Happily, I really enjoyed Frankie and Matt's story. It's been interesting that both couples have been very similar - in personality, work ethic, and so on. I have a hunch that Eva, the third friend who will get her Happily Ever After, will be matched with someone very different. Perhaps a certain favourite author of Frankie's? (PS I just read the synopsis of the third book...score one for me.)
As I mentioned in my review of Sleepless in Manhattan, I like that I get to see how the couple in the previous book was doing after their story wrapped up (ie once they realized they wanted to be together forever and got engaged). What I especially like about this series is it kind of ties into Morgan's Puffin Island series (I've only read and reviewed one story of the three but really liked it because, hello, small town romances are my favourite). I didn't notice it as much with book 1 but in this book, Matt and Frankie actually head back to Puffin Island, where they grew up, for a wedding. Whose wedding? The couple from First Time in Forever, the first book in the Puffin Island series. How fun is that?
Just like in Sleepless in Manhattan, there is a lot of history between the main characters, with one, Frankie, carrying a heck of a lot more baggage. I liked getting to know Frankie more as Matt did. I, like Matt, knew she had her issues but had no idea they ran so deep or affected her so much. I appreciated that Matt wasn't trying to "fix" her, he just wanted her to be her best self and to acknowledge and deal with her problems.
Even though I have the follow up to Sunset in Central Park, and the final book in the From Manhattan with Love series, I'm trying to hold off reading it. I want to have some time to really enjoy Frankie and Matt's story and also because Miracle on 5th Avenue takes place around the holidays. Must exercise great willpower! It's hard though because I really enjoy the characters Sarah Morgan has created and the big city world they live in. The romances are so sweet and real that I just cannot wait to read Eva's story. Romance lovers, take note of this series!
*An ARC of this novel was provided by the publisher, Harlequin, in exchange for review consideration. All opinions are honest and my own.*