Monday, April 27

Quote-Tastic: We Almost Kissed

Fringe Benefits

The Ladies Who Lunch, #4
Sandy James

Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Hachette Book Group
Date of Publication: April 21, 2015
Number of pages: 352
Word Count: ~80,000

Available at the following retailers:
Amazon     BN    Kobo     ARe

When life gets tough and love is hard to find, four friends take their troubles to lunch. High school teacher Danielle Bradshaw deserves a happily ever after, and the Ladies Who Lunch are determined to deliver Mr. Right.


As the new head of the English department, Dani doesn’t have much time for anything but lesson planning and literature. Romance—or even sex? Forget about it. But then the principal introduces her to last-minute hire Nate Ryan. Finding time to mentor a new teacher won’t be easy, especially when his incredible body and equally disarming charisma are enough to make her heart skip a beat...

Nate may be fresh out of school, but he’s confident in his teaching skills—and in his feelings for Dani. But while she’s everything he’s ever wanted, he knows his place on her staff—and his age—may be problematic for his sexy boss. How can he convince her to ignore the gossip mill currently in full swing in the teacher’s lounge and surrender to what’s meant to be?
I decided to go with a scene where the Ladies were all together, interacting with one another, since this is the last book in the series.

“That butt is just begging to be squeezed.” Beth winked at her.

“I’m telling Robert you said that,” Dani joked. “Even if you’re right, Nate Ryan’s too young for me.”

Three snorts sounded right before a merciful bell rang, ending lunch.

“Bring him to the barbeque Sunday.” Mallory tossed her trash in the wastebasket. “We’ll check him out.”

Dani shook her head. “You’ll do no such thing.”

“Bring him,” Jules insisted. “I could use the business.” She winked.

Without waiting for a reply, Jules and Mallory strolled out of the workroom.

“You really should invite him to the barbeque,” Beth said. “I can tell you like the guy. It’s a great kind of nonthreatening date.”

It was Dani’s turn to snort her derision. “Nonthreatening? I’d be feeding Nate to the sharks. Not only will the Ladies be there, but your husbands will give him a hard time.”

“What better way to find out if he’s right for you than to toss him in the deep end?”

As far as Dani was concerned, she and Nate were already swimming in treacherous waters. The near kiss was all she could think of when she wasn’t focused on students.

“Why are you blushing?” Beth asked as they walked toward her classroom.

Since Dani had prep period right after lunch, she was in no hurry. The area around them was free of eavesdropping students, so she let her guard down for a moment. “Nate and I stayed really late last night to get some work done. We got locked in the supply closet when we were looking for toner.”

“How romantic! Is that what’s making you blush?”

“Yeah, well… We almost kissed." 


It is with a bit of a heavy heart that I do this review.  It's always a bit disappointing when a series ends, and this one is no different. I am going to miss Mallory, Jules, Beth and Dani. These are 4 women who become a family, and I got to peek inside their world. Right there as they cheered each other, gave each other comfort and dispensed advice as needed.

Dani has just become head of the English Department of her school.  As such, she has the job of mentoring the brand new, fresh out of college English teacher, Nate Ryan. There is a bit of chemistry between the two right away, but with an eight year age gap, and being nominally his boss, Dani tries to keep Nate at a professional distance.

Nate believes that age is nothing but a number, besides he is looking for someone who he can settle down with. He is done and over with party girls and their ways. Besides, Dani shares many of the same interests with him, including reading and morning jogs. Nate has the patience to show Dani that he may be young, but he knows what he wants, and has no problem with waiting to get it.

Nate and Dani's courtship spans most of the school year, through their ups and downs as a couple and learning each other quirks and foibles. With both of them being teachers, we get more information on being a teacher and the ups and downs of the profession than we have in other books.

Overall, finishing this book was very bittersweet for me. Their growth as individuals and as a couple was by turns funny and heartbreaking - the age difference, their jobs, the ex-fiance, the surprise party. Oy, the surprise party.

If you have read Turning Thirty-Twelve, you will be pleased to see some familiar faces make appearances in this book. I love when characters from other books/series show up. It just gives me a quick thrill to recognize them and see how they are doing. This was a 5 star finish to a 5 star series.

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  1. I like the sound of this series and I agree when a good one comes to an end it's bittersweet. Great review.

    1. Thanks! One of the things I find amazing about Sandy James is that she has written romance in multiple genres (western historical, paranormal and contemporary) and they all worked for me. For someone who likes variety in their genres, she is a gem. I hope you check this series out. The first book is just 99¢ right now.... Come on, you know you wanna.. *wink* :D

  2. Dang it. I have not gotten the chance to read this one yet but man do I want to!


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