Note: This ARC was provided by Tule Publishing via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Zelda "Zel" Madison has been living in her proverbial ivory tower for so long, but that's what happens when you've lost both your parents and the only family member left is your older brother who would rather have nothing to do with you. Her being a famous model has gotten her name and photos splashed (and smeared) in many a tabloid but now she's ready to retire. However, celebrating with an impromptu dip along Manhattan Beach has her sitting pretty at a Brooklyn police station with her one phone call going to a knight in shining armor who has always looked down his nose at her--lawyer Tyrone "Ty" Sullivan.
Ty Sullivan has always taken his responsibilities seriously, whether it be as the oldest sibling in their brood or as a Legal Aid lawyer. Helping one of his sister's best friends get out of trouble in the wee hours of the morning doesn't endear Zel Madison to him, but when she invites herself to stay on houseboat for the long holiday weekend, they realize that he's more than the overly responsible rescuer and she's more than the supposedly irresponsible damsel in distress. When their time ends and rules are expected to be followed, can there be a happy ending for the damsel refusing to be rescued by a knight who can't help himself?
Bestselling author Heidi Rice's Tempting the Knight is the second story in the multi-authored series entitled Fairy Tales of New York, four books about four best friends and the men they hopefully find their happily-ever-afters with. Zel Madison is a highly successful model who is as known for what she does on the runway and in front of the camera as she is for her supposed antics off and away from both. Her best friend's oldest brother has never seen her as anything more than a troublemaker, the bad girl who got his baby sister in trouble when they were in private school, and Zel's own opinion of Ty Sullivan went south as soon as she recognized the judgment on his handsome but disapproving face. Ten years later, Ty reluctantly comes to her rescue and the two get to know each other better when Zel spends the long holiday weekend on his houseboat and forces them to see one another in a completely different light.
Stories involving the sibling of a lead character's best friend are a favorite trope in romance novels, regardless of the age group. The unique thing in this book is that neither Zel nor Ty had any secret, forbidden crush on the other. In fact, their opinion of one another is largely negative, save for the fact that they aren't blind to the knowledge of just how good looking the other is. Both the lead characters have had difficult pasts that have shaped them when it comes to their families but in very different ways. I felt bad for Zel because as much as her brother Sebastian may come off as a bastard, I think he actually does love his sister but is still dealing with survivor's guilt. Of course, we'll get to his story next and hopefully all will be resolved between the siblings then. As for Ty, being the oldest child gave him a completely different perspective as to what life was like in their family and he understandably put some blame on his parents.
So far, I've enjoyed the two available books in the series and have the third one waiting to be read and reviewed on my tablet. Zel is a strong heroine, one who has battled her own share of personal demons and continues to do so, and Ty is the kind of hero any girl would love to have, someone who is ready to swoop in and save the day, but watching these two transform and evolve was both fun and sigh-worthy. They were obviously a great couple when everything was good, but reading about how they had to deal with the stuff thrown their way together showcased whether they were worthy of having that "something more" and one that lasted longer than a long holiday weekend. On a side note, I'm going to keep my fingers crossed that Heidi Rice's dedication suggesting another fairy tale-inspired series set in London with her fellow co-authors will actually push through. ^.^ I'm giving Tempting the Knight four stars out of five! ♥
Release Date: 22 June 2015
Date Read: 18 June 2015
Learn more about Heidi Rice here.
Purchase Tempting the Knight on Amazon.