Desert Isle Keeper
Sleepless in Manhattan
I’ll be honest; DIK reviews are the hardest for me to write. Why? In addition to wanting to do the book justice, the more I like a book the fewer notes I take while reading. I loved Sleepless in Manhattan, the first in the author’s From Manhattan With Love trilogy so much that I took hardly any notes, and had to go back and read it a second time, which was no hardship. Sarah Morgan is now firmly on my autobuy list.
Paige Walker and her friends Eva and Frankie work at the same events planning company in Manhattan. Paige believes she’s getting a promotion, but instead her boss – a real boss from hell — fires her, saying the company is downsizing. Paige soon learns Eva and Frankie were fired as well. On the roof of their brownstone that evening, a planned celebration of their promotions turns into pity party.
The party turns more pitiful for Paige when her brother, Matt – the owner of the brownstone the women all live in – and his best friend, Jake Romano show up. Paige had a crush on Jake as a teenager, and at one point threw herself at him naked and told him she loved him, only to be rebuffed. As adults, their relationship is one of constant bickering, with Jake going out of his way to annoy Paige. This particular evening, Jake challenges Paige to form her own events planning company along with Eva and Frankie. While hesitant at first, the three decide to form a personal concierge service, named Urban Genie.
The three women have been friends since growing up on Puffin Island (the setting of previous books by the author). Paige is the competent, efficient one, and her friends look to her to lead the new company. Born with a heart defect, Paige spent much of her childhood in and out of hospitals, making her determined to be independent and succeed as an adult. Paige is strong-minded, but she’s also smart and likeable. Eva and Frankie have interesting backstories as well, and I liked them both. Sure, they’re set up as polar opposites; Eva trusts everyone and is looking for love, Frankie doesn’t believe in love and trusts no one. But we get to see enough of their personalities and skills for me to definitely want to read their stories.
Getting their company off the ground proves more difficult than Paige imagined, with bookings few and far between. Finally her friends convince Paige to ask Jake – the owner of a multimillion dollar corporation – for advice. Paige goes to Jake, not for herself, but because she’s worried about her friends’ financial needs. Jake not only offers advice, he hires them to do a high profile event in a month with a virtually unlimited budget. Jake also gives them office space in his building, throwing him and Paige into regular contact.
Paige is still attracted to Jake, but believes he thinks of her only as a sister; a sexy elevator incident proves her wrong. In the hands of a less skilled writer, Jake might be a cliché. One of the most eligible bachelors in town, he never stays with any woman for more than a month, and it’s just sex for him. But we learn there’s a lot more to him, a lot more to his complicated history. And it’s clear early on he’s a good friend to all of the women, and a loving son to his adopted mother. And the reveals about a young Jake’s visits to Paige in the hospital are touching.
I like romances in which the characters lead full lives, and Paige and Jake definitely fit the bill. In addition to a satisfying, sizzling romance between the two, we get to see each of them at work and with friends participating in a variety of activities. I can’t wait to read Matt and Frankie’s story in the second in the series – Sunset in Central Park – when it’s released in the U.S. in September. I’ve come late to Sarah Morgan’s books, and am delighted to discover she has a large backlist. I plan to delve into it while waiting for the next in this trilogy.
Sleepless in Manhattan may be ordered here.