Thanks to Backlit PR and NetGalley for the ARC.

You’re going to need to take a cold shower after reading this steamy contemporary romance novel by Diana A. Hicks. LOVE OVER LATTES is the first in the Desert Monsoon Series, and it is also Diana A. Hicks’ debut novel. (Published February 7, 2018 by The Wild Rose Press, Inc.)

Valentina is a single mom and a recent college graduate. She is trying to get her life back on track with a college diploma, a new job, and a fresh start for herself and her son. Cole is a self-made man who is on the verge of losing the company that he started from scratch and built into an empire to his conniving, cheating ex-wife. Neither Valentina nor Cole is looking for a romantic attachment – they’ve both got too much going on in their lives to add another complication – but when they meet the person that makes their life complete, there is nothing to do but hang on for the ride. Valentina and Cole watch each other from across the local coffee shop for six months before Cole finally approaches her. Because Valentina was turned down for the rental house that she had hoped to get so she and her son can finally have a home of their own, Cole offers her the cottage that is in the backyard of his massive compound. Valentina is reluctant to take Cole up on the offer, but she breaks down and signs the lease when she realizes that she’s not going to find a better deal. Close quarters leads to intimate encounters, and a romance quickly blossoms between Valentina and Cole. Problems also arise as Cole’s ex-wife, Valentina’s son’s absentee father, and a couple of their scheming friends try to come between the two lovebirds.

What makes LOVE OVER LATTES so great is that Valentina and Cole are such engaging characters. It’s fun to watch their relationship bloom and grow stronger as they both face their separate past heartaches and betrayals so that they can move on to their combined future. Hicks presents the novel in alternating perspectives, taking us into both Valentina’s and Cole’s heads. The reader knows what both main characters are thinking and feeling as the initially fight their feelings for each other, and then battle against the forces trying to keep them apart. The witty banter between the two characters is just as engaging as their chemistry. LOVE OVER LATTES is a well-written, enchanting romance novel that shows love can find you when you least expect it, and that it is worth fighting for.

My only complaint is that there needed to be more of Pirate the cat.