By Mackenzie Lucas
Publisher: Soul Mate Publishing
Release Date: January 1, 2014
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Length: 239 Pages
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About the book:
All Haven Jameson ever wanted was to own a little piece of paradise. Now, she does, having established a successful luxury spa in St. Augustine, Florida. But when the property next door is sold to a mega developer and his pro-golf celebrity brother who design trendy, bustling playgrounds for the rich and famous, she fears her dream could slip away.
Confronted by her late husband’s infidelity, Haven learns everything she believed about her marriage was a lie; so she finally sets aside her grief and opens her heart to loving the widowed pro-golfer who is her biggest professional competition. In the end, Haven discovers that living a safe, loveless life is far worse than embracing passion and taking a chance on a man who’s vowed never to love again. And that, sometimes, no matter how high the risk, the best paradise of all can be found inside our own hearts.
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A businesswoman and physical therapist drawn to healing the injured and a pro-golfer weighed down by the demons of his past take center stage in contemporary romance Essence by Mackenzie Lucas. Well developed characters, lively dialogue, smoking hot chemistry and plenty of emotional angst kept me turning the pages from start to finish. Set in a luxury spa, with all of the amenities anyone could desire, Ms. Lucas takes us along on the journey as four “damaged” souls heal and fall in love.The young widow of a wealthy and successful businessman, Haven Jameson has recently opened Essence, a luxury spa designed to help heal the body and soul of those who can afford it. Planning to open additional spas and establish a chain, Haven and her best friend, Sally, are on their way to realizing their childhood dreams. When the adjacent piece of real estate is put up for sale, and Haven realizes her dreams could go up in smoke if the wrong type of establishment is built on the property, she discovers her marriage wasn’t everything she thought it was.A pro-golfer nearing the end of his prime, Pace Daniels has been making plans for a different future. Going into land development with his brother Jason, Pace is attracted to a piece of undeveloped beach front property in St. Augustine, Florida. He just didn’t plan on being attracted to the woman who developed a luxury spa on the property bordering the one he wants or on needing her services when his shoulder injury acts up. He also never planned on falling in love.The scenes between Haven and Pace are hot, full of smoldering chemistry and a lot of emotional angst. Both emotionally damaged, and in denial of what lies at the root of their problems, Haven and Pace get involved swearing it’s a one time, one night thing. Only nothing goes according to their plans and their one night of passion turns into something much, much more. Ms. Lucas does a good job giving the reader the background on what’s taken place in both Haven and Pace’s pasts and in developing the inevitable relationship between them. While there are outside factors (tied to Haven’s deceased husband), its clear Haven and Pace are meant for each other.Ms. Lucas also does a good job developing a secondary relationship, which takes place at the same time, between Haven’s best friend Sally, and Pace’s brother Jason, who both have issues of their own. Adding Imogene Carmichael, a woman determined to be a fly in the ointment, Sally’s cute son Danny, and her mother Ina and Haven’s uncle, who happens to be a hottie himself, Ms. Lucas rounds out her story and has her characters growing throughout their experiences.Will Haven’s future be ruined by Pace’s plans for developing a golf course next door to Essence? Will Pace realize he needs to let Haven into his heart and that he needs her in his life if he’s ever going to be happy? You’ll have to read Essence to find out, I enjoyed it and hope we get to see more of these characters in the future.My Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars
FTC Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book as a part of a book tour in exchange for a fair and honest review.