December is upon us and it’s the month where I become book happy for the festive season, and I came across Sleepless in Manhattan with a deal in Google Play not too long ago. I’d read Sarah Morgan’s medical romances back in the day, but I had yet to read her standalone contemporary romance titles. What a pleasant surprise, and a with little bit of nostalgia, that Sarah Morgan’s characters and set-up in Sleepless in Manhattan reminds me of classic Nora Roberts.
Paige, Eva, and Frankie have created their own social events/planning company, Urban Genie, after being fired from their previous jobs at Star Events. Best of friends, the three of them all bring their unique talents to the business. Paige is an event’s organiser and she feels the most responsible as creating Urban Genie was her idea, but not without the help and prompting of her brother’s sexy best-friend, Jake Romano.
Jake Romano is a famous cyber security expert. He and his company now concentrates on digital marketing. Jake encourages Paige to open her wings and vitally pushes Paige in creating their new company. But Jake also happens to be the object of Paige’s unrequited love since she was a teenager. After a childhood of illness with open heart surgery, Paige’s family have been overly protective, especially Paige’s older brother Matt.
Jake has kept Paige at arms length because he cares too much for her to act on his attraction. He’s very jaded and isn’t a relationship man. Jake is frightened of falling in love, which stems from his mother giving him up for adoption when he was six years old. Jake antagonises Paige on purpose to keep a healthy distance between them and for many years it has worked. Until now. Paige’s confidence is blooming and as she works alongside Jake, he is finding it impossible to hide his feelings for her. Emboldened Paige takes matters into her own hands after one sexy and explosive kiss in a broken-down elevator with Jake.
Sleepless in Manhattan is a fun and humorous sexy friends to lovers romance, which is one of my all-time favourite tropes. Paige and Jake at first really don’t mix very well, but that’s because of Jake’s insistent needling and teasing. Not only does he want to avoid hurting Paige if he acts on his feelings, but Jake also promised Matt years ago not to make a move on Paige. Ugh. That annoyed me intensely because they treated Paige as if she was a delicate child and not a woman. No longer able to deny their attraction, Jake and Paige embark on a sexual relationship, though it was clearly inevitable that Paige was going to fall back in love with Jake. Their insistence on keeping things uncomplicated didn’t work quite so well and my main issue with the book is Jake’s inner conflict.
Why did Jake insist on keeping an emotional distance with Paige? His mother did give up him for adoption, but he has such a loving and healthy relationship with his adoptive mother, so I can’t understand why he didn’t believe in love or thought it such a risk. And his insistence on protecting Paige got old really fast. Saying that, I really enjoyed the ending when Paige rages at Jake and Matt for “protecting” her. So despite Jake’s weak internal conflict, I really enjoyed this book and I adored the friendship between the three girls. They are supportive and love one another deeply, even if their personalities and their outlooks on love clash, such as Frankie and Eva.
All in all this was a fun romance, though a little predictable at times. I give Sleepless in Manhattan a B-