March 05, 2017

Book Review: ANY TIME, ANY PLACE by Jennifer Probst

Book:  Any Time, Any Place (Billionaire Builders #2)
Author:  Jennifer Probst
Genre:  Contemporary Romance, Women’s Fiction
Publisher:  Gallery Books
Blurb Via Goodreads:
HGTV’s Property Brothers meets The Marriage Bargain in this second volume in the Billionaire Builders series, an all-new heart-wrenching and sexy contemporary romance from New York Times bestselling author Jennifer Probst.
When she was a teen, Raven Bella Stratton’s father was killed in a horrible car crash. The bigger shock was the discovery of a woman with him—Diana Pierce—and their two fully packed suitcases with airline tickets to Paris. Devastated by her father’s betrayal, Raven went to live with her aunt, never truly overcoming the traumatic event. When she discovers that the mysterious woman had a family with a husband and three boys, Raven vows to leave the memory of her father behind.

Until Dalton Pierce visits one night and suddenly her past challenges her future...

Leaving his life in California behind to run Pierce Construction with his two older brothers, Dalton Pierce has enjoyed returning home and studying his passion of woodworking. But when he visits the local bar with his brothers one evening, he’s immediately drawn to the smart-mouthed, badass, sexy bartender who sets his body on fire. Unfortunately, she doesn’t seem as intrigued by him, and his multiple advances are met with rejection. When he offers to restore the bar back to its original glory, he begins to work with her on a daily basis, and falls harder. His plan of seduction slowly weaves a web around them both, until they are caught up in the spell. But Dalton doesn’t know the secret that can either destroy them both...or finally mend two broken hearts.
My Review:
I am always on the lookout for Jennifer Probst books.  After reading The Billionaire Marriage series and the Searching For series, I am confident that whatever she writes won’t just be romantic but also heartbreaking and heart pounding in its intensity.
This book is the 2nd in the Billionaire Builders series though it can also be read as a standalone (I haven’t read the 1st one…..yet). 
The plot is deeper than Probst’s usual as it deals with tragedy, death and betrayal that touch the lives of both protagonists.
Raven was devastated by her father’s sudden death.  Her heartbreak was made worse by the fact that her father was on his way to Paris, abandoning her for a woman she had never met, Diana Pierce.  She hated what her father did, but she hated the sons of the woman more as they destroyed the reputation of her father in the aftermath.
After years of losing and eventually finding herself and her purpose, she goes back home and starts a business where her talent behind the bar gets noticed by everyone, including the Pierce brothers, particularly Dalton.
Dalton is the youngest of Diana’s 3 sons.  Of the boys, Dalton was the one closest to his mother and her death caused a wound that never quite healed through the years.  His trust issues are deeply rooted, and as a result, he has never had a real relationship in his entire adult life.
Both Raven and Dalton aren’t looking for a relationship, but one look at each other proves an immediate attraction that’s hard to resist.  Dalton pursues Raven, not knowing her past intertwines with that of his.  And much as Raven runs the other way, Dalton pushes his way into her life and into her heart. 
What I love most about Any Time, Any Place is that though there is that instant attraction between the two, the time frame is more realistic.  We’re talking weeks and months of pursuit, relationship development and emotional roller coaster before the happy ending (yes of course a happy ending….i’m a sucker for it……it’s Jennifer Probst after all).  It’s not the usual instalove that seems to proliferate in romance fiction nowadays and I appreciate it.  It’s more relatable because of this, as if Raven really could be a friend of mine whose tears I would wipe and Dalton whose ass I would lick..…I mean kick. Seriously!  
The characters are developed well, including those of the support characters.  And since I’m a fan of the first two series, I liked that there is someone familiar here.  Izzy.  Probst interconnects her books by putting one or two characters from old series into new ones, something which makes me personally more invested since the familiarity is already there.  Brilliant move. 
And because it’s Probst, lock this book away from your teenage kids.  The sex scenes are fiery HOT that can give Fifty Shades a run for it's money, with no need for the extra tools (if you know what I mean).   Sexy, seductive yet romantic…..this book is an enjoyable read.