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Max Crawford has reached the point in life where he's starting to think about settling down. Unfortunately, he's always been a little awkward when it comes to social interactions, and working from home doesn't help. He spends so much time alone, painting beautiful, historically accurate model trains that half of Whitford has begun to joke that he may be a serial killer. Not exactly prime husband material.
Tori Burns has found happiness in Maine, thanks in large part to her shifts at the Trailside Diner. She likes the work, and she loves the local gossip. When shy, geeky Max Crawford becomes a regular, she's intrigued. When she finds out he's in the market for a wife, she's fascinated…and determined to help.
Molding Max into every woman's dream turns out to be much easier than expected. But has Tori's plan worked a little too well? As she turns his comfortable life all sorts of upside down, she'll have to find a way to show just how she's fallen for him…the real him.
*I received a free ARC of Falling for Max from Carina Press via Netgalley in exchange of an honest review*
The romance in Falling for Max is building so slowly, and it is truly adorable. I feel so good right now after finishing reading this story, it’s amazing!
Max has always been in the background in the other Kowalski Family stories, and he let the good people of Whitford come up with the reasons why – him being a serial killer was high up on the list of suggestions. He wanted more in life in this story, though, and when he went to the diner to be more social, the first person he met was Tori who was waitressing that morning. Both of these characters have made several appearances in prior books, and I have always enjoyed them. Getting to know them better was really good, and I especially loved how a new friendship turned very slowly into more.
The Kowalski Family is one of my favorite contemporary romance series, and Falling for Max was so tender and tentative. It was impossible for me to not fall for both Max and Tori, because they were both dealing with things that were difficult. Max had always felt like the odd duck, and some people even said that about him now. Tori was still torn up because of her parents’ divorce two years earlier. She had always thought they loved each other, until one day, they suddenly started screaming at each other that they wanted the other dead. And even after she moved away, they continued to use her to get at each other. Not really strange that Tori didn’t believe in love or happily ever after anymore, right?
Falling for Max really focused on Tori and Max, but all the other characters I enjoy were present in many scenes as well. And I always love Ms. Stacey’s writing – it’s gripping and tender, always able to make me feel so much for her characters. Also, reading stories in past tense third person point of view works well for me, and the narration was really good. The slow building romance almost did me in, it was so sweet! And Tori was so reluctant the whole time, even if she truly enjoyed spending her time with Max. I think that the next time I’m feeling a little down, this is the book I’ll use as a pick-me-up.
The cook called her name and she went to get his salad. Sucking chocolate frappe through his straw, he watched her walk away. Rather than a seductive sway of the hips, there was a happy, positive bounce to her step that he liked.
For some reason, seeing him caused a low hum of anticipation through her body, which she scoffed at.
Max didn’t usually take to new people in his life so easily, but he was glad he’d taken Josh’s advice to go to the diner. Tori was the perfect person to help him find a wife.
It wasn’t even a real date. She knew that, since she’d reminded herself of it often enough over the course of the day, but she couldn’t stem the slight buzz of excitement she’d woken up with.