Ryan is just the right amount of possessive and just yummy, even if he does a stupid thing at one point in the story. He is intense and complex, has flaws and issues that make loving a woman and accepting that a difficult thing but with Sophie he's helpless to resist being with her.
Sophie is charmingly clumsy and a vivacious and outspoken heroine you'd love to have as a friend. However, underneath the vivacious independent woman is a woman who has been through a lot thanks to her lousy family members.
Lea Griffith is a new to me author whose writing reads very easily and is clean, crisp and even-paced. Her voice is right up my alley as it's laced with humor and intensity. And her characters are spot-on and have depth to them without making them complex but not too complicated.
It wasn't perfect as I had a few issues with how things played out towards the resolution of the major external conflict but this book did take me through a gambit of feelings: joy, heat, anger, sadness, endearment and love and that's all I ask of authors to do with their books.
FISTFUL OF ROSES is a contemporary romance with a suspense (corporate espionage) subplot that really worked for me. It may seem like a fun contemporary office romance story from the blurb but soon you discover the intense emotional layers interlaced with the humor and the romance. You get hints to backstories that make you so curious you want them disclosed fully, but Ms. Griffith released the story little by little, which kept me completely hooked and wanting more with each page.
- the first kiss, in Sophie's hallway > wow, if Lea Griffith can do this with a first kiss, I look forward to the first full-out sex scene!
- Ryan's flower thing> *melts*
- the snowball fight at the cabin > a light moment amidst emotional intensity that turned into a hot sex-in-the-woods scene in a flash
The sound of his voice caressed her from the inside, a velvet feather against her heart.
She tasted like heaven soaked in salty tears. For a man only used to hell, she tasted of salvation and forever. (...) She affected him like a shot of whiskey, potent. Her taste was heat pouring down his throat and suffusing his limbs with pleasure.