This enemies-to-lovers / ice queen romance was a solid 4* until I got to the last part. And then it got too much. Way too much. It’s definitely worth reading nevertheless, but know the end is OTT.
Jessica Barron is a well-known solicitor in Leeds (England), specializing in divorce, which is kinda ironic since when we first meet her, she finds out her husband is cheating on her with the nanny. She gets rid of both offenders – fires the nanny, files for divorce – which leaves her in need of another live-in nanny to help her take care of her two young children, Luke and Gemmy. Renée Arden, the owner of the Home Solution Agency, needs a place to stay after breaking up with her girlfriend so when Jessica mistakes her for “just” an employee, she goes with it. At first, they can’t stand each other, what with Jessica being haughty and bordeline rude, but Renée is so good at making her life easier that she ends up realizing how precious she’s become to her.
I really enjoyed the first part, with Jessica trying to regain control of her life. For years, because of her husband’s recklessness, she’s had to work non-stop to pay for the extravagant Italian-style house he insisted on building. Her children don’t really know her any more, and a huge part of the process of rebuilding her life goes through getting their affection back. Besides her husband’s infidelity, Jessica is also coping with the loss of the love of her life, her first husband Damian, whom she never stopped grieving. She reluctantly lets Renée in, and finds she doesn’t always have to protect herself. Once she realizes she’s fallen in love with her, she takes it in stride. A little internal struggle would have made it a tad more plausible, though.
There’s a lot of grief in Jessica’s life, and I felt the story should have stopped when she finally got some balance back. The last part of the book felt like it could have been another story, tacked on at the end.
As for the narration, it was rather good, despite the sometimes odd pronunciation of French words (Renée is half-French) and funny accents of some of the French characters. But at least I understood the words, even when they weren’t said correctly, so it could have been a lot worse.