A copy of this book was provided by the author for an honest review.
Nia has one rule—don’t date neighbors. Simple, except the guy next door is single, handsome, and not inclined to close his blinds while naked. When her car dies, Conn takes “being neighborly” to a new level by offering a ride to her long-distance destination. Nia has resisted his looks and charm for months. Surely she can handle a few hours in his truck…
For months, Conn has blatantly put himself on display, hoping his pretty blonde neighbor would tire of secretly watching and come knock on his door for a cup of sugar-or more. No such luck—until an unusual opportunity arises. After a six-hour drive turns into a sweet-and-sexy weekend, Conn wants more than neighborly status with Nia. To get it, he must convince her to break the rule protecting her heart—by putting his on the line.
*hot contemporary romance with some explicit sexual content*
Karla Doyle is rapidly becoming one of my go-to comfort read authors, and CUP OF SUGAR is yet another reason why. Although she doesn’t make light of the real concerns and problems that her characters might have on the way to their happy ending, she also doesn’t turn them into anything too overwrought or super-angsty just to get “all the feels” from readers. Her deft hand is what made CUP OF SUGAR such a great read for me. Its hero and heroine have both had to deal with broken relationships, and those experiences come into play during this story, but they also both learn from what went wrong before and use that knowledge to make better decisions the second time around without wallowing in too much fake drama.
Nia is the classic sweet-but-overly-cautious girl who’s been burned one too many times by the men she has come to recognize as her type; namely, the ones she fixates on simply by virtue of their close and continuous proximity. After her last breakup which essentially forced her to sell her house and move, Nia now has a new dating rule. No getting involved with neighbors, not even a little bit, not even if they are the nicest and hottest guys around. Especially not then.
Too bad for Conn that he’s living next to a seriously attractive woman who won’t date neighbors. Not that he realizes that right off, but after performing all kinds of outdoor chores for Nia without being asked, he’s resorted to strutting naked in front of the windows in his house that overlook hers, all to no avail. So when Nia has trouble starting her admittedly inadequate car on a night when a big snowstorm is approaching, he sees his opportunity to take his Nice Neighbor campaign to the next level. Conn is determined to get to know Nia better, and she’s most definitely attracted to him. But will they ever get past that pesky neighbor rule?
It was easy to understand why Nia had her rule about neighbors, but it was also great to see the moment in CUP OF SUGAR when she realized that her problem wasn’t dating neighbors. Her problem was dating jerks. But Conn isn’t like those other guys, and he spends the majority of the story showing Nia exactly why. It didn’t mean that he was perfect, only that he genuinely wanted to get to know Nia better and be that good guy she deserved after so many bad ones. There were a few misunderstandings between them along the way, some of them a bit more annoying than others (I hate when characters snoop and assume the absolutely wrong thing immediately, especially when the obvious answer is already in front of them) but none lasted long enough to be a major distraction. And the ending made all of the misunderstandings worthwhile, just for that lovely moment when both Nia and Conn are able to enjoy finally being together as a real couple with their whole future ahead of them. CUP OF SUGAR proves you can have a light-hearted romance without sacrificing “all the feels” and it’s why I will continue to read everything Karla Doyle writes. 4 stars