Two words Kalli Montgomery never expected to say out loud to Xavier Cruz, even though she's been in love with the sexy, single father for as long as she can remember. Unfortunately, she hasn't just been friend-zoned for the past ten years. No, even worse, he's treated her like a little sister, no matter how hard she tried to prove she could be so much more. When she agrees to spend the summer as the caregiver for his daughter, Lily, she knows it's her last chance to finally make him take notice.
As unexpected circumstances threaten to disrupt his home life, Xavier's desperate to keep his family together. He'll do whatever it takes, even if it means marrying a woman he doesn't love. For Xavier and Lily, Kalli will do just about anything, even at the risk of getting her heart broken in the process.
Little does she know, sometimes love isn't quite as unrequited as one may think. Xavier sees her-he always has. And the vow he made all those years ago never to go there with his best friend's little sister is wavering, and it's wavering fast. When they come up with a plan that leads to wedding bells, it's a no brainer.
This marriage of convenience has one rule: absolutely no falling in love.
Easier said than done. Throw together a girl who believes rules are meant to be broken, and a man whose whole career revolves around following orders and you get a recipe for disaster. What could possibly go wrong?
When we first start the book, it's the morning after Kalli & Xavier got married and their story is told over breakfast with her brother and friends. We are reintroduced to them first as acquaintances (when she was 16) to friends to where they are now, 6 months later, married on paper but too damn stubborn to admit it how they really feel for fear of getting hurt or worse.
Kalli has been in love with Xavier since her brother, Kale (from Inflame) brought him home for the first time when she was sixteen. Obviously, due to their age differences nothing happened but that doesn't mean they both didn't pine from afar. Xavier was just much better at hiding it. Until now.
Now, Kalli is everywhere. Hiring Kalli to watch Lily during the summer may be the best and worst decision of his life. She's not only the center of Lily's world but also the star of his fantasies, and now it's not so easy to shake 'em off.
Xavier is crazy about Kalli, he always has been but she's off-limits. He has someone more important to think about, to put first, his young daughter, Lily. Too bad he doesn't realize Kalli is perfect, not only for him but for his daughter too.
When the real world threatens to break into their slice of paradise and threatens the fragile legal hold he has on his daughter, Xavier is panicked. Panicked enough that when Kalli proposes marriage so that Lily will have a stable home in case anything ever happened to Xavier, he jumps at the chance to not only give Lily a mother but to finally make Kalli his wife.
I loved how fiercely protective Xavier was towards Lily, and enjoyed how honest it felt when no matter what, he always put her first. What woman doesn't love a man who makes being a father a priority?
I really enjoyed how Ms. Teevan highlighted the bond not only between father and daughter but between Lily & Kalli as well. Kalli was the only motherly figure Lily had ever known and I enjoyed how Kalli supported her but never tried to push herself into the "mother" role. Even at his lowest, Xavier is still an amazingly relatable character and one you can't help but fall in love with.
I could rave forever about this amazing book or you can pick yourself up a copy and see for yourself what I mean!