Secret Admirer by Ally Hayes

Secret Admirer by Ally Hayes
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Genre: Contemporary, Holiday (Valentine’s Day)
Length: Short Story (83 pgs)
Heat Level: Sweet
Rating: 3.5 stars
Reviewed by Fern

Andi’s new to town and looking for a fresh start in the dating department. She’s attracted to the guy she sees each morning, but begins flirting via text with Garrett, a friend of her new co-workers. Despite many attempts and determination, she misses opportunities to introduce herself to Cute Coffee Shop Guy or actually meet Garrett in person. With Valentine’s Day approaching she succumbs to the sugar rush of Candy Hearts and when ‘Secret Admirer’ continues to appear in the messages, she takes it as a sign to decide which guy is her real Secret Admirer.

Andi is starting a new job, and bumps into a handsome stranger when she’s gets her morning coffee fix at a local café. Her life is full and busy while trying to settle down. She’s having fun though, making new friends and trying to discover who Cute Coffee Guy really is. And then along comes Garrett….

This is a lighthearted and fun story. I was a little confused initially – as both Garrett and Cute Coffee Guy were clearly in Andi’s sights. I normally don’t like romance stories where the pairings/hero-heroine mix isn’t pretty clear cut, but the happy overtone, the lighthearted writing style kind of carried me away regardless. Also, Andi understood how different it was to be flirting in texts with Garrett while simultaneously trying to get to know Cute Coffee Guy better. I had a few pangs – one heroine aiming for two men outside of a ménage style story isn’t usually my thing – but overall this was the only qualms I had throughout the whole book, and in all other respects it was a fun, lighthearted story.

I also really enjoyed the whole candy heart thing. The author used this tool very well and I loved the different variations both Garrett and Andi came up with. I found it to be something different, fun and very romantic.

This was a sweet short story – with no kissing or descriptive foreplay. It was like a lovely entrée, a great lead up to what I feel will be a good romance. There is a definite happy ending – albeit a clichéd, predictable one – and I was left with a happy smile and a good sense of satisfaction, very happy that Andi had found her Happily Ever After. A lovely, sweet story and one I’ll happily read again in the future.

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