Boy, was I in the mood for a sweet romance novel, so thank goodness for The Harder They Fall, by Trish Jensen.
Set in my hometown area of Washington, DC, The Harder They Fall not only is a romance, it’s a comedy. Darcy Welham’s father decides that he wants out of the restaurant business, an empire he built with Darcy’s mother. But Darcy doesn’t want him to sell his chain to a big corporation, largely because she believes her mother, who died when Darcy was a child, hoped Darcy would take over and continue the family dream. What she doesn’t anticipate is coming up against Michael Davidson, the tall, dark, blue-eyed and chiseled hunka hunka burnin’ love who wants the merger. And by “merger,” I don’t just mean the purchase of the Welhams’ restaurant chain. I mean, you know, THE MERGER. One that will entail considerable headboard rocking.
But first, Darcy needs to get past a few things. Well, she needs to be able to get past them, for Darcy is, as Michael snarkily observes, a walking disaster. She can’t take two steps without tripping or colliding or causing all manner of mayhem. She killed her first pet- a fish – by overfeeding him. When she first meets Michael, she dumps a grilled tuna in his lap, knocks his nose with a tray, and scalds him with hot coffee.
Yet Michael, bless him, is blindly attracted to her. During their first kiss, she is so shocked by the entrance of his tongue into her mouth that she bites it. Our boy is not deterred, however. Yes, he needs Darcy to agree to sell the restaurants, but his motives become more complicated when he falls for her. And of course, she falls for him.
But the path of true love for these two crazy kids is anything but even. Darcy believes that she is a danger to Michael, which he quickly realizes is due to low self-esteem on her part. It’s a bit contrived, but whatever. This is fun to read, and that’s why I like it, dammit.
The sexy times are fun, too.
Either he was an extremely accomplished liar, or he was utterly sincere. Darcy desperately wanted it to be the latter. And as he gazed unblinkingly into her eyes, she decided to believe him. Relief flooded through her, and she gave a shaky laugh. “I’m glad.”
His teeth flashed like white beacons in the dark of the night. “Don’t ever discount your appeal as a woman, Darcy. I think you’re sexy as hell. And your last name has nothing to do with that.”
“Kiss me,” she demanded hoarsely. “Now.”
Trish Jensen creates entertaining characters with believable back stories. You can see why Darcy wants to continue in the family business, and you can understand Michael’s need for success. They are adorable, and several times while reading this book, I found myself either chuckling out loud or smiling a silly little grin.
The Harder They Fall is a fun, sweet, giddy romance, with some decent love scenes. Read it and enjoy.
Published by Bell Bridge Books and available on Amazon.com.
Thanks to NetGalley for the preview.