So I read Sleepless in Manhattan in July, and as I said, I was really put to the test on it. It ended nicely though, so I soldiered on and read the next two, Sunset in Central Park and Miracle on 5th Avenue in quick succession.
Sunset in Central Park is pretty much the opposite story line as Sleepless in Manhattan. In Sleepless, you have the hero falling for his BFF's little sister, who he has known forever. In Sunset, the hero is falling for his little sister (star of Sleepless)'s BFF. It's all very intertwined. Here's your summary, from Amazon:
Love has never been a priority for garden designer Frankie Cole. After witnessing the fallout of her parents' divorce, she's seen the devastation an overload of emotion can cause. The only man she feels comfortable with is her friend Matt—but that's strictly platonic. If only she found it easier to ignore the way he makes her heart race…
Matt Walker has loved Frankie for years but, sensing how fragile she is beneath her feisty exterior, has always played it cool. But then he uncovers new depths to the girl he's known forever and doesn't want to wait a moment longer. He knows Frankie has secrets and has buried them deep, but can Matt persuade her to trust him with her heart and kiss him under the Manhattan sunset?
This one was much better than Sleepless, I thought. First, there wasn't really any of the ickiness you often find when someone is dating his friend's little sister, so that was good. Then, even though one of the characters have some big mental blocks to a relationship (Frankie), the other half (Matt) is aware of them, and patiently works through them. In Sleepless this is all kept secret.
Frankie has a lot of issues after growing up with a flake for a mother, some of which I found completely legit and some of which I felt like Frankie used as a handy shield. Happily, Matt is able to gently show her where she was wrong about other people's perceptions and willing to ride out the rest. Matt has been in love with her for years, you see, and he's finally tired of waiting. He pushes, gently but steadily, to make her aware of his feelings and to admit to hers. This sounds slightly aggressive, but it's clear that he's not pushing her somewhere that she's not wanting go.
I really enjoyed this one quite a bit and if it has any flaws it's really just Frankie's endless mental denial She doesn't really believe that she isn't worthy, but that she will mess it up and shouldn't even try. This one was much better than Sleepless in Manhattan. I loved Matt's brand of slow and steady but not quite a Beta hero. I loved that he knew what he wanted and was patient (to a point.) It clearly sets up the next (and final) book in the series, so I immediately gobbled that one up too.
Sunset in Central Park comes out today.