The Older Man gets five stars for some really great heat in the earlier chapters. You’ll want to skim endless filler padding with the “cute kids”. But the seduction/resistance scenes between Grant and Renee are really well done with some real steam and tension.
If you’re familiar with the term “bangnanny” – older, separated/divorced male gets a young girlfriend barely out of her teens (or in them, as in here) and moves them in as a nanny-come-mistress, eventually trapping them with a baby of their own – then this does verge on that initially. However Grant adamantly refuses to seduce Renee, partly as he’s wrapped up with guilt that he bang-nannied his first wife.
FirstWife was also a trainee lawyer, ten years younger than him, who gave up her career when she accidentally got pregnant and he “encouraged” (borderlined coerced) her to keep it. So you’re probably not going to like Grant from his backstory. However the point of the book, I assume, is that he’s changed.
FirstWife, whom he’s already divorced from, conveniently drops dead early on. She literally drops dead – although off-screen – it’s one of those convenient aneurysms-out-of-nowhere. Unfortunately this means the kids come to stay and take up pages and pages of filler. I don’t mind kids personally but I find them intensely boring to read about in a Romance.
The ending of the book is disappointing. We skip forward yet another year or so, then there’s all this trauma and Renee is a completely different character, and none of the sexy passion feels real anymore. I think she’s possibly even less likely to continue with her career and even more likely just to end up a wife and stepmother to a bloke twice her age.
And the eventual sex scene is a massive anti-climax. Plus it’s on a beach, right on the sand (which she’s already tripped and “plunged onto”) and his legs are already “harsh with sand” and once just winces at knowing where that sand’s going to end up and how uncomfortable it’s going to be.
However this book is definitely worth a read for the earlier romance/intimate scenes. They’re some of the best I’ve read and the dynamic is very well done.