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title: Sunset in Central Park (From Manhattan with Love #2)
author: Sarah Morgan Twitter
first line: She’d expected hearts, flowers and smiles.
rated: 3 1/2 out of 5
In the chaos of New York, true love can be hard to find, even when it’s been right under your nose all along…
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?
I have a tendency to read books that are not first in series, I did it again with Sunset in Central Park (From Manhattan with Love #2). I do it unintentionally. Thankfully Sunset in Central Park is a stand alone read in author Sara Morgan’s From Manhattan With Love series. I love New York and romance is one of my favorite if not favorite genres, so this one grabbed my attention.
Frankie Cole and her two girlfriends Paige and Eva run their own event planning business called Urban Genie. Frankie specializes in floral arrangements. This second book centers around close friends Frankie and Matt. I liked Frankie’s character from the start. She’s bookish really bookish, like you and I if you’re reading this right now.
If you want unconditional love, get a dog.
p.55, Sunset in Central Park by Sarah Morgan
Frankie has been scorned in love before and has sworn off trusting men, she has some self-esteem issues as well. Her mom sewed her wild oats big time after Frankie’s dad left her for a younger woman. Growing up in a small town called Puffin Island the gossip ran rampant which was one of the reasons Frankie moved away to New York. She’s embarrassed that everyone on the island knows about her family issues.
Matt runs his own landscaping business and he hires Frankie to design the garden in his next project. The two have been lifelong friends and Matt is now trying to break down her walls and take turn their friendship into something more. He’s always had a thing for Frankie but the timing was never right. Frankie has feelings for Matt but she doesn’t think they should act on it because she feels she won’t be enough for him and she also doesn’t want to ruin their friendship if it doesn’t work out. This book reminded me alot of the tv show Friends. Paige and Eva are all for Frankie and Matt getting together. They try to give Frankie advice on the topic of love. Paige and Matt are siblings.
“Everyone wants to be loved. If they don’t it’s because they’re afraid.”
p.60, Sunset in Central Park
I know this is catty of me but the author lives near London and I wondered if she’d ever lived in New York. I kept trying to see if she knew what she was doing with the NY setting. I think she did alright with it but did better with the Puffin Island backdrop. Frankie and Matt go to the island for a weekend and I liked the cozy small town setting there more.
I liked getting Matt’s POV throughout the story on the Frankie situation. It made him an even more likable character knowing what he was thinking of her.
He’d been focused on helping her discover something about herself that she didn’t
already know. It hadn’t occurred to him that in the process he’d discover something about himself, too.
p. 230, Sunset in Central Park
Matt was a great hero, he genuinely cares about Frankie and takes the time to listen to what she is saying. Plus of course he’s great in ya know…
I like the friends to lovers trope, and it worked really well here. It was nice because the love connection seemed realistic. Also, the theme of lifelong friendships, not just romantic ones, throughout the book was sweet. This one was full of some nice lines and thoughtful passages. This excerpt says it best:
“Romantic love should be supported by a backbone of strong friendship. A man can be the best kisser in the world, but I wouldn’t want to be with him if he wasn’t my best friend.”
p.190, Sunset in Central Park
Overall, Sunset in Central Park was a nice read about two good friends who finally get together. I liked it, but then my interest waned towards the latter half of the book. I felt it ran a little too long as all ends were being wrapped up. If this one were about 70 or so pages shorter, I would have given it a higher rating.
Disclaimer: This review is my honest opinion. I did not receive any kind of compensation for reading and reviewing this book. I am under no obligation to write a positive review. I received a free review copy of Sunset in Central Park via AmazonVine.