Friday, July 10, 2015

Book Review: "The Spaniard's Kiss" (Nina Croft)

Isobel Sinclair emerges from mourning her husband's death with a plan: she wants to create her own family by having a baby. Her husband's best friend, the wealthy and influential Rafael Sanchez, is the only available man in her life, and attraction between them isn't a problem. Besides, her heart will always belong to Gary, so it's not like she wants a commitment.

Meanwhile, Rafe isn't a settle-down-with-a-family type. He has new women in and out of his life every few weeks. He's had his eye on his best friend's wife for a long time, but loyalty to Gary meant never laying a finger on Bella. Now, even with Gary gone, Rafe can't bring himself to bridge that gap. He also can't imagine letting Bella have a baby with any random stranger.

But there's more to Rafe's carefree, no-strings lifestyle than he can share with Bella. Reasons that prevent him from ever giving her children. If he doesn't, though, he'll lose her forever.

Entangled Publishing's Indulgence imprint presents The Spaniard's Kiss, a smoky contemporary romance by gifted author Nina Croft, debuting this month.

It's probably happened to you before: your best friend or sibling or close colleague introduces you to their significant other, and you're struck by your own attraction to that significant other. Friendship, and peace of mind, demand that you stand down. But what happens when the obstacle between you vanishes?

That kind of psychological and relational tension is what drives Croft's novel for both main characters. Bella and Rafe, respectively, battle the fear that being together is disloyal to the memory of the man they both loved and respected.

For Bella, desperation to build her own family and have the kind of stability she dreamed about and then lost with Gary's death drives her past her fears first. She's loved Rafe for a long time, and something about him sparks a heat inside her that Gary's steady, patient love --- while wonderful --- didn't.

Rafe, on the other hand, remains determined not to give in to what Bella wants, since he knows that to have children with her would only be to invite heartbreak, given his own family history. Still, terrified of losing her and the friendship he so carefully cultivated with her, he deceives her into believing he'll give her a baby.

Deception can't be condoned in ninety-five percent of circumstances, of course, but readers will understand Rafe's uncertainty and feel for his situation. He's obligated to protect Bella, even from herself and even from him, for Gary's sake. He desperately wants Bella but can't give her a baby. That kind of psychological chaos is ripe with tension and makes for a really compelling character.

The heat level in this contemporary romance is somewhere between smoky and singed. Readers will find the attraction between Bella and Rafe, and their subsequent ventures in bed, one of the most satisfying parts of the book.

I urge you to pick up a copy of The Spaniard's Kiss for your library. Nothing sexier than forbidden love!

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Author: Nina Croft
Title: The Spaniard's Kiss
Publisher: Entangled Publishing (Indulgence)
ISBN: 978-1-62266-701-7
Purchase here:

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this work from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest, though not necessarily positive, review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

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