Flower shop owner Alexa Conroy had it all before the recession hit and her customers fled to cheaper shopping grounds. Desperate to make ends meet, she sells her dream home and moves into the rundown apartments above her shop. When she spots six feet of sexy distraction—complete with muscles, piercings, and tattoos—ripping up flooring, Alexa knows the karmic windfall she's due just landed on her doorstep. And the attraction's definitely not one-sided. Dillon James, reluctant heir to the corporation about to foreclose on Alexa's shop, is not about to jeopardize their scorching chemistry by admitting he's not the building's handyman. But with only weeks until her business goes under and his identity is revealed, Dillon must find a way to convince Alexa cooperation isn't a dirty word, help her save the shop from his brother's greed, and persuade her that he's not the enemy…or risk losing the only woman who's seen the real him.
Alexa is determined to make her new life work - despite the fact that her new apartment is falling to bits and her flower shop is going under, thanks in part to the big business that seems to have taken over town. A romp in the sack with her new building's handyman seems like the perfect way to pick up her mood, until a one night stand becomes something more and it turns out her handyman might be keeping quite a secret.
I really liked Alexa. She's a girly girl, but that doesn't stop her from being driven and independent. It also doesn't stop her from unashamedly objectifying her building's "handyman". I really felt for her through the story - not only her nervousness at the turns her love life takes but also her desire to make a beautiful florist into a feasible business.
Dillon is a super sexy hero (with "a taut back meant for fingernail marks" - I just think that is the best description!), but I didn't like him quite as much as Alexa. I struggled a lot with the fact that he lies to her about being her building's handyman - when he is part owner of the building, as well as part of the big family business that is threatening her florist. His adoration of her is gorgeous, but not excuse enough for me to forgive the lies, especially because they go on for SO LONG.
Together they are so freaking sexy. This is a very hot book and the romance elements would all be very sweet if it wasn't for the underlying crisis of deception - for me this is just a really hard one to forgive and I felt like Alexa forgives him maybe a little too easily. Admittedly, I should have worked out this storyline from the blurb! My fault really.
That said, I hadn't read any Cari Quinn before, and I love her style and the super hot chemistry that holds this story together. The secrets and lies storyline isn't for me, but I'm definitely going to be trying more of Quinn's novels!
No Flowers Required by Cari Quinn is a contemporary romance, released by Entangled Brazen on August 20, 2012.
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