I hadn’t read a Bromberg novel for some time. No particular reason except life got in the way and I don’t have as much time to read. So when “Until You” popped up on my radar I was intrigued with the plot premise and I settled in.
Crew Madden is a Chicago cop on forced leave due to a serious injury and all its ramifications, physical and psychological. Since he can’t work for the time being, he packs up his twin daughters and they head to Redemption Falls where he spent many happy summers as a boy. He needs a safe place for his girls whose mother up and left them. A place where he can relax and get his life back on track and Addy and Paige can stop worrying that something will happen to take him away from them too. The plan is to stay at his uncle’s house for the summer while he does repairs and gets it ready to be sold. Redemption Falls is safe. The girls can play outside without him being on constant alert. The only fly in the ointment is the tenant living down the lane in the cottage. She’s written endless letters to his uncle asking for repairs that she deems critical. Well, Crew will get to them in time but they aren’t first on his To-Do list.
Tennyson West is actually the perfect tenant. She pays her rent in advance, keeps to herself and doesn’t bother anyone. Truth be told, she’s an introvert which is perfect for her job of editing romance novels. Tenny just wants to live quietly without looking over her shoulder, afraid that her past life will catch up with her. She would like however, for her landlord to make some badly needed repairs. Her decision to confront the hot nephew in person morphed into a voyeur-like exercise that had her eyeballing his shirtless, sweaty physique as he was manhandling some huge timbers. Oh my!
When Tenny and Crew finally meet, the chemistry between them is off the Kelvin scale but they try to ignore it and dance around the attraction for a while, becoming good friends in the process. What cements their relationship is the ease with which she relates to eleven year old Addy and Paige. Tennyson has an innate understanding of their emotional needs as well as their likes and dislikes. Acutely aware of the feminine influence that’s been lacking in his girls’ lives and seeing first-hand how they’ve blossomed from it as well as his more active role as a father gives Crew a long look at what’s been missing in his life too. In conjunction with that, Tenny needs to open up and share the ghosts of her past so she can relax and stop looking over her shoulder. But will she? Better yet, can she?
K. Bromberg’s “Until You” is a single dad romance done right. Crew is almost the perfect father, walking that fine line between giving in to his daughters’ requests without being overly indulgent. And Tennyson is a perfect fit for Crew and the twins. Her interactions complete the happy family picture without being sappy and the chemistry between her and Crew is, appropriately and as previously noted, off the hotness charts. All that and an actual plot too? What more can you ask for? Five stars.
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