Series: Love in the City, #4
Release Date: April 12th, 2022
CW: mentions of parental abandonment, past infidelity
I didn’t plan to fall in love with my boss. Cory Porter is six-foot-six of muscle and I fell for him the day he gave me a job in his bar. Too bad he’s twelve years older than me and treats me like a little sister.
Anyway, I’ve got other things to worry about–like saving my favorite animal shelter and fostering an anxious pup called Pretzel. The only problem is, I’m not allowed to have dogs in my apartment…
I shouldn’t have suggested Josie and Pretzel stay at my place. I’ve been fighting feelings for that woman for five years. She’s too young, too much my employee, and way too sweet for a guy like me.
But the more time we spend under one roof, the harder it gets to keep my hands off her–especially when she’s bent over on her yoga mat in our living room. Can’t a guy catch a break?
I know it’s selfish of me to act on this. I’m a committed bachelor like my father and will only end up hurting her. But now that I’ve let Josie in, can I become the man she deserves?
Let me just start by saying that this is Jen Morris’s hottest book yet. It helps that we have both Josie and Cory’s perspectives, giving the story more punch and insight into the mind of one of her best heroes yet too! I will always love Myles, but Cory is something special. And let’s not forget Josie. I believe she’s my favourite of all of Jen’s heroines and that spot was reserved for Cat for so long. But Josie’s heart, soul and her sex positive confidence stole my heart and the show, really.
For the last five years, since Cory hired Josie at his bar, Bounce, the two of them have been fighting a growing attraction towards the other. As a known womaniser, Cory’s kept himself clear of Josie and being around her too much because it helps him keep his head on straight. Josie, on the other hand, can’t help herself. Though, they’ve both been really good about not doing anything crazy just yet. When one Halloween party turns into an even more serious attraction and Josie’s favourite animal shelter going through a big crisis turns into Cory offering Josie somewhere to stay with her favourite dog, things take a turn into very dangerous, hot and complicated territory.
There was so much great stuff happening in this book, but my absolute favourite thing was how much we got with this wonderful found family. I missed Cat and Myles, so to see them larger than life in this one made me happy. Also, can we please talk about how perfect they still are? Because that is one relationship that I would love to see even more in the future. We also see more of Geoff and Harriet, who is still all kinds of adorable. I’m a big fan of found families, and this one delivered all those heartwarming scenes in droves. Speaking of families—Cory and Cat’s relationship is fantastic. They’re so soft together and I loved that we got to see Cat through Cory’s eyes, because I always wondered what their relationship would really be like. And gah, it was so great.
Cory and Josie’s relationship goes through an up and down a few times before they settle into their relationship easily. It felt real, which was so great. While not a big fan of Cory’s reasoning at first, I have to admit that I understood where he was coming from. But more importantly, I LOVED how Josie drew him back in. She’s beautiful, sexy and all kinds of unpredictable, which makes their build-up and the relationship itself really interesting to watch unfold.
“Five years of wishing I could kiss you, fantasizing about you when I’m alone, imagining what it would be like to be with you.”
You know what I love? When the heroine is swoony. And Josie is hella swoony. With her vivacious personality, her big heart and her big feelings for Cory; she really delivers a swoon packed story. I loved that Josie’s always trying to help everyone and fix everything, but often forgets about herself because it’s so relatable. But she’s also the first person to step up to offer a shoulder to cry on and is always there for anyone and everyone. But underneath all that soft and sweetness is a sex kitten waiting to unleash and with Cory, she doesn’t hold back. The number of times Cory says “holy something” will tell you just how often she catches him off guard. Speaking of Cory…can we get an AMEN for men who openly cry and show emotions? I need more men who don’t hide their tears or feel embarrassed about it. Cory accepts his shortcomings and breaks down as he goes through that acceptance phase, but that only makes him so much sexier.
This is the steamiest of all four books, with some pretty interesting settings that have these characters getting adventurous and taunting each other. Plus, the chemistry is amazing. I liked that they’ve been friends, always leaning on each other through everything, to now trying to figure out where they stand.
The Love You Deserve is a beautifully crafted story. While the first few have been love letters to New York (because we know Jen loves the city!), this one is a love letter to yourself. Through Cory and Josie we learn about the importance of putting yourself first and loving yourself, even through the hard times. It’s a story about helping where you can, but also showing someone how to find their way through the darkness. It’s a story about finding yourself, at the end of the day. Because the journey that Cory goes through in the book is one of the most important things in The Love You Deserve—he goes from thinking he doesn’t deserve good things for all that he’s done to believing that he is worthy. And there’s no greater love story than loving yourself.
Thanks to Jen Morris for generously providing me with an advance copy. I am voluntarily leaving an honest review.