For years, Alyssa has been going to bed with a memory. Is she ready to wake up with a fantasy?
Some people wait their whole lives to find their soul mate, but not Alyssa Barrow. She met Rob at nineteen, and they were set to live happily ever after—until he became ill. In his final days, Rob urged his beautiful, young wife not to abandon happiness—or pleasure. He even left her a special gift, a sexy game plan to help her move on: Thirty cards with instructions for thirty days of passion. You’ll know when the time is right, he’d said. Now it’s two years later, and when Alyssa meets her hot new neighbor, Harrison Kemp, she begins to think the right time is right now…
From his sculpted thighs to his devilish grin, Harrison is the kind of man women want. Before she can lose her nerve, Alyssa tells Harrison about her long-ignored cards…and asks him to help her fulfill them. It’s a favor he’s more than happy to, um, perform. With his skillful touch, and the hot press of his lips against her skin, Alyssa finds herself re-awakening to life—and a host of other sensations. But what began as not-so-innocent fun soon grows into true intimacy, and Alyssa realizes she’s opening herself up not just to sex…but to love. When it comes to a future with Harrison, what’s really in the cards?
I have been a fan of Christine d’Abo for quite a while and always appreciate her naughty and nice reads but this time, she has taken everything to a whole new level of awesome.
Alyssa Barrow married her soulmate and never, not once regretted her decision. She and Rob were meant for forever and then he got sick and made her a widow in her early thirties. For the past two years, Alyssa has been making her way through life with no thought of ever being as happy as she once was with Rob. But Rob was wise beyond his years and left Alyssa instructions for what to do when he was gone. For two years, Alyssa has ignored that letter.
Harrison Kemp (his mother really liked Star Wars!) is only in town for three months. His job is high pressure, rewarding, and does not lend itself to long-term relationships. Just the way Harrison likes it. When his attractive neighbor, Alyssa approaches him with an offer of no-strings-attached sex, Harrison is hooked. He and Alyssa are both up front and honest about the situation: Alyssa is looking to complete a mission left for her by her late husband and Harrison is willing to be her sex monkey. The rules of the game are clear: no getting attached, no emotions, and no rearranging the cards, they must be completed in order.
Over the course of Harrison’s three month stay, he and Alyssa are going to work through all thirty cards and at the end of the thirty days they will absolutely be able to make a clean break. Rob’s intention for Alyssa was to help her get back in the saddle following his death and reawaken her sexuality. Each of the thirty cards left by Rob detail some sexual experience Alyssa is to experience and they range from the very simple/very vanilla to the more daring and less vanilla. Harrison is by far the more experienced of the two and his patience and care with Alyssa is so, so sweet. He understands from the very beginning she is still hurting and still in love with her husband but is ready to reclaim her life. Though Harrison thoroughly enjoys being with Alyssa and her appreciates her willingness to experiment, he finds it difficult to constantly live in the shadow of her late husband. For Alyssa, Harrison is a wonderfully inventive and willing partner who make her body sing, her head swim, and her heart hurt.
The Bottom Line: This was a must-finish read for me and I found myself pulled in from the very beginning. Alyssa just broke my heart in the earliest chapters, made me laugh with her propositioning of Harrison, frustrated me with some of her stubbornness, and finally, made me so very happy when she was able to make things right and get to her well-deserved HEA. As much I liked Alyssa, Harrison is really the highlight of this read with his overall beauty. He is strong and confident, sexy and slightly cocky, and just as vulnerable as Alyssa but for very different reasons. Harrison’s back story really brings everything together and helps both Alyssa and the reader understand some of his words and actions. The naughty bits are sexy, steamy, unconventional (hello, grapefruit!), sometimes funny, always sweet, and totally appropriate to the characters. Outside of Alyssa and Harrison there is small cast of secondary characters who flesh out the overall read and create an interesting dynamic among the group. 30 Days may just be one of my favorite reads of the year with its strong plot, excellent naughty bits, interesting and fully-developed characters, and overall engaging read.