First in the From Manhattan with Love series
By Sarah Morgan
Available now from HQN (Harlequin)
Paige Walker doesn't like relying on anyone. Due to a childhood illness, everyone in her family is overprotective and it drives her nuts. When she loses her job and old friend Jake Romano suggests starting her own business, she realizes how much the idea actually suits her.
SLEEPLESS IN MANHATTAN focuses on Paige and Jake's relationship, but it also sets up the next two books in the series. Paige's best friends and business partners Frankie and Eva both have their heroes introduced already. I know Sarah Morgan wants people to get invested in the series, but I sometimes thought that the setup for the rest of the trilogy took away from the central romance.
Jake is actually Paige's brother's best friend, and she's had a crush on him forever. Unfortunately, he shot her down hard when she was a teenager. He proceeded to go on and sleep with a bunch of women while she pined. I enjoy Morgan's novels, but this definitely isn't my favorite dynamic between the hero and heroine.
I do, however, appreciate that both of them had to grow as people to make their relationship work. Paige needs to learn to ask for help when she needs it, and Jake needs to learn that he is worth loving. (His mother abandoned him when he was young.)
I also loved the friendship between Paige, Frankie, and Eva. (Note: I object to the obvious setups of their romances being in this book, not them being present and charming.) They truly compliment each other as friends and business partners. It's a lot of closeness, but Morgan convinces me that it works for them. Frankie and Eva's polar opposites thing could be a bit much (one is a cynic, one is a romantic), but with Paige in the mix there was a reasonable balance.
SLEEPLESS IN MANHATTAN is a sweet, easily digested romance. It's not Morgan's best, but it has a lot of appeal for fans of the big brother's best friend romance. (And he's a self-made millionaire, of course.)