But his heart’s not in it
Ex-SEAL Max Del Toro persuaded his friend Ava Long to play matchmaker in exchange for posing as her boyfriend for one night.
He even gave her a list of must-haves for his future wife. Except now he can’t stop thinking about Ava—who doesn’t check a single item on his list!
Navigating his feelings seems more dangerous than any mission. Can Max abandon his plan and take a spontaneous risk for love?
This is an adult 18+ story that contains language, possible violence, and sexual situations geared to an adult audience.
Title: The Charming Checklist
Series: Charming, Texas #2
Author: Heatherly Bell
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publication Date: December 28, 2021
Rating: 4.5 stars
The Charming Checklist continues the Charming, Texas series with a couple who on the surface would never make it… but then, love is unpredictable and sometimes the unexpected turns out to be the best possible reality.
I confess, I adored Max from the start. Yes, even when he was being a pain in the butt and not acknowledging that he truly had no idea of what love or a solid relationship really were. His list of the requirements for the “perfect” woman for him would be your first clue. Max has decided that it’s time to get serious about the next phase of his life which should be all about making his own family. He is convinced that all he really needs is a good idea of what he wants and then hitting up the dating sites until his “perfect” woman magically appears. Yeah, right.
Ava caught my heart early on with her unique personality. She’s always had a soft spot for Max, maybe even a crush on the stubborn man. But when she asks for a favor in return for helping him search and find that just right woman she had no idea of the wild ride she’s about to be embarking on with this man. The list he hands her is the total opposite of Ava, so she’s trying very hard to tamp down on those feelings she’s starting to get for a man who sees her as overly-bubbly, too much everything in life. There is going to be heartache before this couple finally gets it right, for them both.
While I enjoyed both Max and Ava, it was Ava’s family situation that kept me flipping pages. The hurt she’s gone through leaps off of the page, and to start to see a different side of her mother allows Ava to finally accept that she is just fine exactly as she is – and anyone who thinks differently can hit the road. I actually enjoyed Ava’s mom upon our second meeting and was rooting for them both to find what they needed in life and in love.
The Charming Checklist is one of those stories that had me smiling throughout. Yes, Max needs to do some growing, and Ava needs to be more self-accepting of herself, but together they simply meld into this “perfect for them” kind of couple. Who cares what the “world” thinks? What Ava and Max have is something special and unique, and it was a joy to go on their journey to finding lifelong love.
We met Adam in this story, and I’ll be waiting to see what his eventual story will reveal. I’m having fun with this series that is strong on emotions, moments that make me smile, and a few tense times as well. If you love a realistic couple, then this story, this series would be perfect for you.
I own a Kindle edition of this title.
Available in print or for your favorite e-reader