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Once upon a time, I loved him.
He broke me and he didn't even know it.
I ran from him.
He didn't chase me.
He never needed to, because he knew I'd come back.
He was right.
Death brought me home to him.
Drop dead gorgeous and filthy-mouthed with a smile that turns saints to sinners.
A casanova to his core.
My ex-best friend.
And the bad boy whose reputation precedes him—the same reputation I'm tasked with turning to gold... Or so they think.
Revenge is a dish best served cold, after all...
5 Wonderful Stars
I loved this book! This was your typical Emma Hart book, but at the same time, it felt a bit different. Lani and Brett were friends from high school, but something caused Lani to leave immediately after high school graduation and she never looked back, until she had to come home for a funeral. It's then that she runs into Brett Walker again and she has to face her past. Can she find a way to move on from the past, or will she let it continue to come between her and Brett?
This book had its snarky moments and funny moments, it had its hot moments and it's more serious moments. I felt like this may be the most real couple she has written and I loved it.
Is Brett Walker a true Casanova?
Urban Dictionary defines a Casanova as “a smooth-talking charmer who has mastered the art of finding, meeting, attracting and seducing beautiful women into the bedroom. Once he accomplishes his goal, he leaves the woman in fear of having a relationship and proceeds to find his next conquest.”
At face value, Brett Walker is definitely a ladies’ man, manwhoring himself around Whiskey Key, Florida, charming women out of their panties and forgetting their names while tarnishing the Walker family name and causing rumors to abound as to his lack of respect for women and his inability to do anything but royally mess things up.
And while Lani Montana experiences Brett’s assholery in epic proportions, when she sets her eyes and her ears on him after being away from Whiskey Key for 8 years, she’s also privy to his moments of generosity and his closeted nice guy attributes that his family and the people of Whiskey Key rarely see or don’t give him a chance to show them, always reverting back to his rude, selfish, and disrespectful persona because that’s all anyone ever expects from Brett.
Lani Montana may have labeled Brett as a Casanova, but her job is to actually clean up his image. She’s supposed to give the townspeople an inside look at who Brett is beyond his philandering and untoward actions. As a freelance journalist, though, she’s all about the truth, and she refuses to write anything fictional about the life and work of Brett Walker, but as she spends more time with him and gets to know this new version of Brett, fact and fiction start to blend together, causing Lani to question exactly who Brett is and what secrets he’s hiding from her and from the people of Whiskey Key – ones that might further taint the Walker legacy and others that just might prove that Brett is more than the townspeople or his family has every given him credit for, especially those closest to him who have no idea who he really is.
I love how Emma Hart illustrates the differences between someone who’s in the spotlight who screws up his life and someone who hides in the shadows, committing the exact same acts but not having to face the inquisition due to where he falls on society’s ladder. There’s something to be said about how much gossip and the media amplify acts of indiscretions when it comes to certain people because while some of Brett’s truths are embarrassing and clearly illustrate a man unhinged, they’re not ones that should make him the town pariah or place a large C on his chest to show everyone around how much of a dog he is when it comes to the opposite sex. What it comes down to is the fact that Brett is from an affluent family and the expectations for said family are ones that a 17-21 year old man will have difficulty reaching, especially when the one person who made him better…who saw him for more than just his last name left town with no explanation and no goodbye all those years ago.
The girl who left Florida due to a broken heart is not the same one who returns; Lani found her voice and her backbone when she moved on from her childhood crush, and while she doesn’t care to break open old wounds, she also isn’t going to allow herself to be seduced by the one person who shredded her in ways she’s still recovering from…too bad Brett’s not going to give her a chance to disappear again, though, and regardless of the amount of sass and dirty looks Lani points Brett’s way, they’re going to settle their issues once and for all, even if it means Brett needs to tell her every single truth about his life since she left and what it means for them now that she’s back.
Casanova is another thoughtful and steamy read from Emma Hart. I love the small town setting of the story and all of the idiosyncrasies that comes with it. Lani and Brett are a perfect pair because they call each other out and turn one another own quite simply by being in the same room together, and they epitomize the idea that there’s a thin line between love and hate.
4 Poison Apples (The Fairest of All Book Reviews)
There is no trope that I adore more than a best friend to lover romance
There is no trope that I adore more than a best friend to lover romance, unless it is an enemies to lovers romance. Give me both of those in a book written by Emma Hart and I am giddy with excitement! Emma always knows how to tickle our funny bone, melt our heart, and steam up our reading glasses. In Casanova she does just that and gives her readers a new hero to drool over and a new heroine to envy and admire.
Lani Montana is a nerdy book girl after my own heart, who left Whiskey Key, Florida suddenly eight years ago destroyed by her best friend who had ownership of her heart. Now she finds herself back after eight years and trying her best to put down roots to help take care of her pregnant sister and ignore the notorious philanderer, ex best friend Brett. When she is hired to use her genius writing skills to make him look like the golden boy he used to be, that's when lines start to blur, bodies heat up, and emotions go array. Lani is a nerd who matches my love for books, so what isn't to like about this geeky girl who grew up into a feisty, sexy, beautiful woman who has everyone in awe with her writing skills.
Brett Walker has become the black sheep of Whiskey Key, where everyone believes the absolute worst of this rich playboy. Now he must prove to his family that he is worth more than his mistakes and the only way to do that is to involve the sexy bookworm that he fell for who up and left eight years ago and took his heart along with her. Brett had me eating out of the palm of his hand with his filthy charm and heart of gold wrapped in black sheep clothing. I have always been a sucker for the under dog and it wasn't any different with Brett. I couldn't wait to get beneath Brett's skin and learn what made this hero tick and get to know all of his regrets and desires.
Emma Hart delivers another love story that has her readers hanging onto every word and panting with every moment of sexual tension between Lani and Brett. I highly recommend Casanova for a romance that will have you enamored with the characters and their struggles from the very first page. Emma Hart is a “go to, must have all of her books” author for me and I am not ashamed to be caught constantly syncing my kindle in anticipation of reading her newest creation. She never fails to strike a chord within my heart with her steamy and extra sassy couples and their wacky families and friends. When I open one of her books, I step in her fictional world, knowing that I will never be the same again.