I couldn't decide if I wanted my rating for this book to be 5/5 Leafblowers or giant heads of lettuce. IYKYK.
Heartless, like all of Elsie's books, has laugh out loud funny moments, tender emotional moments, and smoking hot... ahem... moments. I didn't think I could love anyone more than I loved Rhett and Summer but somehow Elsie made that possible with Willa and Cade in Heartless.
I loved their meet cute, their electric banter, their little fights over who got to cook dinner. I loved the way they cared for his kid and the way Cade took care of Willa ... when she was ill (and other less PG-13 ways 👀💋). Their chemistry was perfection, their romance epic, and I cannot wait to see what comes for these two in the future as we follow the next couple in the series.
Everything about this book made my day better and I have absolutely no complaints except that I found Elsie way too soon because I have already run out of her books to read. Heartless was a masterpiece of romance writing I couldn't put down. Not that I wanted to.
Your Romance Reviewer,
Release Date: October 14, 2022
Read to the end for a (definitely not PG rated) excerpt from Heartless. You've been warned.
Working as a nanny for the world’s grumpiest single dad should have been simple. Except I can’t keep my eyes off him. And he can’t keep his hands off of me.
Cade Eaton is thirteen years older than I am and barely looks my way. Until I get him into the hot tub one night for a game of truth or dare. Then all bets are off—and so are our clothes.
He’s gruff, a little rough around the edges. But broad-shouldered ranchers with calloused hands and filthy mouths are this city girl’s kryptonite. So who am I to resist?
But it’s in our quiet moments together that he softens. It’s when he takes care of me that I realize his hardened exterior is just a façade. It’s when I watch him go all sweet with his little boy that I really fall for him.
Someone convinced him once that his best wasn’t good enough. But I’ve never felt more cherished than I do in his arms.
My contract may say this arrangement is only for two months.
But my heart says this is forever.
And now, for an excerpt from Heartess!
“I bet you’re too chicken to pick dare,” he taunts, eyes looking a little glassier than they did when he first walked out here. The heat. The bourbon. The walk down memory lane.
He looks different. Lighter somehow.
“Dare.” I’m not going to let him figure me out that easily.
He swirls the glass and studies me like he’s weighing his options. With one more swig of liquor, he says, “I dare you to sit up on the edge of the hot tub for the rest of this game.”
I blink slowly, hearing the rush of blood in my ears. The pounding of my heart.
He thinks he can make me put a stop to this game. But I’m not sure Cade Eaton knows me all that well. If he wants me to sit where he can watch me while he drinks bourbon, then I’m all in. I’m not going to fold.
Pushing myself across the tub and out of the water, I hold his dark eyes, lips parting on a labored breath. I don’t look down and neither does he as I slide my ass onto the edge of the hot tub, leaving my legs dangling into the water.
It’s a test of wills, which one of us is going to look down at my chest first. And this time it’s not just the metal barbells causing a scene. My nipples are pointing straight at him.
“My turn,” I rasp.
He nods, still holding my gaze. “Your turn.”
“Truth or dare, Cade?”
“Truth.” A muscle in his jaw twitches.
“Wimp.” He doesn’t even react to my jibe. “If you’re really good at rodeo stuff, why wouldn’t you go do those events while I’m here to help you?”
The weight of his gaze has my entire body humming. The intensity in his eyes. I feel like he’s trying to light me on fire with his glare alone.
I lean back on my hands, waiting for him to answer.
But instead, he claims his prize. His eyes rake over my body, and I feel it, like the tip of something cool and pointed. There’s no distaste on his face this time. It’s pure want. And that’s a look I can recognize.
My core throbs and I feel too hot, even with the cool night air hugging my skin.
I sit, watching him. Watching his expression. Watching him devour me with his eyes.
I do the same. Unable to tear my attention from the beautiful, intense man before me. The way the skin on his throat throbs over his pulse point. The subtle shake of his head as his tongue presses into the side of his cheek.
“Because it’s frivolous. I have responsibilities that I can’t overlook.” He’s talking to me, but he’s staring at my breasts.
“We all need to do something frivolous sometimes. Even you.” I absently wonder if we’re talking about rodeos at all right now.
“Careful, Willa. You don’t know what you’re talking about.” His jaw pops as he glances up at me. I reach out to him, pulsing my fingers, silently asking for what’s left of the drink in his
hand. Needing a little liquid courage of my own. He moves forward, handing it over and hovering before me. Indecision tracing his every feature.
“You’re a giver, Cade.” I take a sip before I stare down at him and delicately wipe my lips. “What if you took something for yourself for once?”
“I can’t,” his voice cracks as he looks at me imploringly.
“You should let me help you. You deserve to enjoy yourself too.”
Now I know we aren’t just talking about the rodeos. We’re toeing a line. A line between employee and employer. A line between an older man and a younger woman. A line that may well differentiate appropriate from inappropriate.
“No.” He grabs the glass and pushes himself across to the opposite side of the square, leaning back to feast on my body. I chance a look down at myself now, seeing the outline of my nipples battling against the fabric and the thin nylon at the bottom of my swimsuit lewdly wedged between my pussy lips.
Something that hasn’t escaped his attention based on the way his eyes snag there before slipping back up to the dark sky above us.
A little part of me wants to hide in the water, but the bigger part of me gets off on sitting here on display for him. Knowing he likes what he sees but won’t let himself touch. Knowing he wanted to see it.
Knowing his cock has got to be rock-hard under the water.
“Truth or dare,” he bites out.
“Truth,” I reply, not sure I can handle another dare or where it might take us.
His brows furrow and his eyes narrow on mine. “What are you thinking right now?”
“That I like sitting here with your eyes on me.”
“Fuck,” he groans, running a wet hand over his face and through his dark hair before tossing his head back and polishing off the dregs of the bourbon.
“What are you thinking?” I push. Wanting to know. Wanting to hear him say he likes what he sees.
“I didn’t pick truth, Willa.”