You Can Have Manhattan by P. Dangelico
Release Date: September 10, 2019
You Can Have Manhattan, an all new standalone contemporary romance by P. Dangelico.
I’m no stranger to hard work. It’s the one constant in my life. And with no family or friends to speak of, it’s been easy to pour all my time and everything I’ve got into my career as general counsel for Blackstone Holdings.
And, hey, I’m not complaining. I mean, life is good…sort of…mostly. It was perfectly fine until my boss offered me a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. One I’d be crazy to pass up. All I have to do in return is marry his good-for-nothing son. I can do this. I can handle it…I think.
* * *
I’ve had my fair share of fun. Some would even say I used to be somewhat of a party whore. Pardon, party animal. I haven’t been that guy in a long time, though. Not since I moved to Wyoming, bought a failing cattle ranch, and turned it into a profitable business.
Life isn’t just good––life is great. Until a phone call from my father threatens the quiet, simple life I’ve built. Marry or lose everything. And to a woman who can’t stand me, no less. Well, I’m not going down without a fight. I’m never going back to Manhattan. Not if I can help it.
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Sometimes I have a difficult time with the enemies-to-lovers’ trope because there doesn’t seem to be a foundation for the characters’ respective hatred for one another…there’s not a backstory that places them in the same spot, forcing them to have less than stellar interactions and be a catalyst for future encounters.
Sydney Evans and Scott Blackstone have a past that proves rather challenging for the marriage of convenience that these two are supposed go through with as a business partnership but also as a way for Scott’s father to keep him in line and in a town that’s so far removed from Manhattan – a place Scott has built a life in and helped him become a better man.
What I loved the most about Sydney and Scott and the interactions they have as they attempt to ‘play nice’ and follow his father’s dictates. These two are about as evenly matched as I’ve ever seen when it comes two rivals and because there seems to be a lot on the line for both of them, they’re willing to play a bit dirty in order to get what they want. As a reader, that idea works in our favor because we get to witness how explosive these two are together and how the sexual tension that surrounds them builds to the point that it’s just a matter of time before Sydney and Scott have to decide what’s most important in the relationship that they’ve been faking.
Dangelico does an amazing job with the back and forth, push and pull that exists between her hero and heroine. When these two are anywhere near each other, it’s a combustible situation; their emotions are high and their tempers flare easily, which means that if they don’t find a way to cope with their growing feelings for the other, they could potentially ruin everything that brought them together in the first place.
Both Sydney and Scott are interesting characters – they’re headstrong, driven, intelligent, quick witted, and more. They actually complement each other quite well, not that they would ever admit to that. I do have to give Scott credit for how he turned his life around after being casted as the arrogant rich playboy. He made something of himself without his family’s help and he also forged a new path – one that he feels pride in, so the fact that his father puts him in a situation that he wants nothing to do with is maddening, so I can’t say that I blame him for his antics, but I also can’t blame Sydney for taking his father up on his offer either.
Marriages of convenience, at least in romance stories, never stay convenient; they become incredibly complicated and maddening because of what the couple begin to feel toward one another and their stakes in why they went into it in the first place. I liked the path that Dangelico made for her hero and heroine – it fit them as characters and getting both of their perspectives allowed readers to truly see the two sides, which is important in an enemies-to-lovers’ storyline.
With a tagline that states “You are cordially invited to the worst wedding of the century,” how could I not want to dive into P. Dangelico’s newest release, You Can Have Manhattan. And I’m glad I did, because I thoroughly enjoyed Sydney and Scott’s story!
4.5 Poison Apples
“Just stand still for five more minutes…” Romeo scooted away and started running in circles around me, his entire massive Wolfhound body covered in shampoo. It was high time these two got a bath and the weather was finally cooperating. I’d found a spray nozzle out back and went to work.
“Romeo! Get over here! Stop it.” The more I chased, the faster he ran, tongue hanging to out, tearing up the lawn because this was the best game ever! Then Juliet got in the mix, barking loudly, and it all went to hell. Romeo suddenly hit the brakes and shook, sending suds flying everywhere––and me screaming when some hit me in the face.
“What’s going on here?” an amused man inquired. Behind me, Scott was grinning. Taking off his ball cap, he adjusted his hair and slammed it back on.
“They smell like cow shit is what’s going on,” was the obvious reply.
I wiped my brow with the back of my wrist and watched Scott’s gaze track up and down my body, taking his time to thoroughly evaluate my wet t-shirt covered in dying suds, my hair falling into my face, and my bare legs shoved into my Hunter boots. He was so distracted that he missed Romeo coming at him like a heat-seeking missile. Before he knew what hit him, Scott was on his back, lying spread eagle on the ground.
Oh sweet, sweet vengeance. I still missed my orange ASICS.
I doubled over in laughter while he blinked, trying to ascertain what the heck had just happened to him. Stepping over him with my legs straddling his body, I bent to get a better look and tipped his ball cap off his head. “You okay there, Sweet Nuts?”
Next thing I know, I’m lying on top of him. Eyes hooded and aimed at my mouth, he murmured, “Better now, Sunshine.”
We kissed and touched and got covered in mud. He stood, and with pure muscular power, took me with him. We peeled clothed off even though it was only March and still a little nippy out. Grabbing the spray nozzle, he hit me in the chest with the cold water. The look of pure shock on my face…
“Oh, you’re gonna get it now.”
He chuckled darkly. “And I’ll happily take it. This is better than a Girls Gone Wild video.”
I snatched the hose out of his hands and aimed for the jewels, but he turned in time to save “future generations of Blackstones.” His exact words. I was also labeled a “genocidal maniac,” for my actions. Which was a bit extreme, if you ask me.
After we’d rinsed the mud off, he wrapped his warmth around me, chased away the chill, and kissed me as he backed me up to the side of the house. His restless hands moving over me possessively, with the authority and conviction of a man who knew all my secrets and still wanted me.
About P. Dangelico
Dangelico loves romance in all forms, cuddly creatures (four legged and two), really bloody sexy pulp, the NY Jets (although she’s reconsidering after this season), and to while away the day at the barn (apparently she does her best thinking shoveling horse crap). What she’s not enamored with is referring to herself in the third person and social media so don’t expect her to get on Twitter anytime soon. Oh, and although she was born in Italy, she’s been Jersey Strong since she turned six.
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