I so love this series. I couldn't wait to read Tessa's story. She has gone through such a nightmare to save her brother and herself, but it has made her feel like she isn't good enough for the man she has loved for awhile. Justin has his own issues after being neglected by his parents and being a super smart geeky man who was wise beyond his years. Except for when it came to Tessa. He didn't see her coming and didn't recognize those clues. Then they became roommates and everything changes. I loved the sweet moments they shared and the steamy ones too. Who knew that Justin was a fantastic naughty talker? Yeah he was. I also love the family and friends that surround them.
I give Cherished By You 4 hearts!
“Move in with me,” he said.
Being cherished is how Tessa Wilder always imagined falling in love. But for years, she’s always gone for the wrong guys. Now that she’s fallen for one of the good ones, she fears rejection.
“I can’t,” she replied.
Justin Jameson quit looking for a woman after being used so many times for his brains. A bit of an introvert and completely oblivious to women’s advances, he can’t even see that his friend cherishes everything about him.
When Tessa needs a place to stay, Justin’s the first to offer her a room. Hearts are opened; feelings are ventured. They’ll finally know what it’s like to be cherished in the city until one moment threatens the relationship they’ve built.
“I can’t lose you.”
“I can’t believe you agreed to live with a woman,” Cash said, sitting down on the couch in my living room with a beer in his hand.
It was Saturday afternoon, and most of the gang was over at my place, waiting for Tessa and her brother to arrive so we could help move all of her stuff in. Maverick and Harper were at home with their baby girl, Seghen, and Paige had a work function with a client.
I really couldn’t believe it either. I’d never had a roommate before who wasn’t some sort of family member, but I knew I didn’t want Tessa living in some dilapidated hole in Grand Concourse again. Just hearing her talk about growing up there pissed me off.
“Living with a woman isn’t so bad,” Carter stated proudly, with his arm slung over Elly’s shoulder. “They make the place smell good. They’re nice to look at.”
“They cook,” Fletcher added, rubbing Bayler’s thigh. They weren’t living together yet, but they stayed together enough that he enjoyed the benefits of Bayler’s excellent cooking skills.
“Not all of them cook,” Carter retorted, nodding his head toward his wife.
“Hey!” Elly exclaimed, smacking him in the stomach. “I’m cooking your baby right now.”
The room filled with laughter as I paced over to the window and looked down at the sidewalk. I was nervous because I wasn’t sure whether or not Tessa would like living with me. I’d had the place cleaned twice this week in anticipation of her arrival.
“But Tessa loves cooking,” Elly continued, smiling up at me. “You can finally stop eating out every night.”
I scoffed, glancing over my shoulder at her. “I don’t eat out every night.”
Bayler laughed. “All you have in your fridge are takeout boxes and condiments.”
“And beer!” Carter said, clinking his bottle with Fletcher’s.
“Ladies,” Fletcher stated, shaking his head at the women. “Jameson has the necessities. Lay off him.”
“Tessa is going to freak when she sees the fridge,” Elly said, laughing along with Bayler.
I turned to face the gang as anxiety tumbled in my stomach. “What do you mean? Why would she freak out?”
“Because Tessa enjoys cooking,” Bayler explained.
“Yeah,” Elly said, nodding. “She’s used to having a stocked kitchen, especially since she’s cooked for her and her brother most of her life.”
Now I felt bad about not going grocery shopping. The truth was, I did order takeout often, only because it was easier than attempting to cook a meal. I’d grown up with either a maid cooking for me or my grandma, but no matter how many times Janice Jameson tried to teach me how to cook, the meal never turned out the way she made it.
“You guys can go grocery shopping later,” Cash said, running through the television channels. “That way she can pick out whatever the hell she wants.”
“Maybe she’ll even teach you how to cook,” Elly teased, nudging my arm.
“Yeah,” Bayler continued, pointing her beer bottle at me. “Every guy should know how to cook. Women love a home-cooked meal they don’t have to make themselves.”
“I’m not trying to find a woman,” I stated, furrowing my brows.
The gang laughed at my candid response, despite the fact that it was true. I’d practically given up on finding a good woman during my college years. The girls I seemed to attract back then only wanted my help passing a class. The only date I’d been on since was a few years ago when my grandma set me up with her neighbor, Elly. The chemistry wasn’t there, so we became friends instead, which was perfectly fine with me. She was still in love with Carter, and I’d been a loner most of my life. When Carter moved back to New York, he and Elly started dating, and I gained another friend. Our group of friends continued to grow after that with the addition of Carter’s sisters, Harper and Bayler, falling for two of our own, Maverick and Fletcher.
“I call bullshit, Justin,” Bayler exclaimed, rolling her eyes. She leaned into Fletcher’s side and rested her feet up on the coffee table.
The laughter quickly died down at her blunt retort.
“Excuse me?” I asked, deflecting my surprise.
“All men are predisposed to think with their penises,” she explained, entertaining everyone with her words. “I don’t care how much of a genius you are; you’re still a man, which means that brain of yours down south is focused on sex just like every other man’s.”
Laughter grew louder around me as I stared her down, the smile spreading wide across my face. We got a kick out of giving each other a hard time, and I enjoyed dishing it out just as much as everyone else. Leaning down next to her ear, I said, “No, Bayler, what I meant was, I don’t have to try to find a woman.”
She nearly spit out her beer as she smacked me on the arm and laughed. “See! Just like every other guy! I knew you had a dick in there somewhere, Jameson.”
“Is this the part where I tell you I know how to use it, too?” I asked sarcastically, laughing along with her.
A knock on the door sounded before she could reply, so I walked over to answer it. Opening the door, I found Tessa and a younger guy standing behind her, with three suitcases resting at their sides and a duffle bag slung across his body. She wore an old pair of ripped jeans and a hoodie. Her long brown hair was knotted on top of her head, but it was her light blue-gray eyes smiling back at me that caught my attention the most.
“Hey,” I said, grabbing one of the rollers. “Come on in.”
“Thanks,” she said, crossing the threshold into my apartment.
The Love in the City series is about a group of friends looking for love in New York City. Each book is about a different couple, so they can be read as standalones. The stories are told from both the female and male point of views, and they all end in happily ever afters, no cliffhangers here! Finally, all the book covers are different colors to represent a certain awareness or cause that is referenced in each book. Grab the first book in the series, Wanted By You, for FREE today!
Steph Nuss was born and raised in rural Kansas, where she currently resides with her black Labrador son named Gunner. She grew up with a passion for reading and writing. When she’s not immersed into the land of fiction, she enjoys listening to music that came before her time, watching movies and reruns of her favorite shows, and hanging out with her family and friends. She also has a bachelor’s degree in psychology that she’ll never use…unless she’s profiling her characters of course.