At Last by Addison Fox

At Last by Addison FoxAt Last by Addison Fox
Published by Swerve on November 1st 2016
Pages: 248
Buy on Amazon

After a year of turmoil, Emma Vandenburg Bradley returned home to Park Heights to run her family’s business – a Brooklyn institution – Unity brewery. Still trying to get her feet back under her, she definitely doesn’t want to be on the spectacularly bad date that ends with getting caught in a bar fight and her high school crush coming to her rescue.
Nick Kelley’s career in the NFL was cut short, but now he has a successful bar in Brooklyn and his dream of buying the Unity brewery is about to come true. Until he realizes that the mystery woman he saved—and shared a steamy kiss with—is none other than his high school chemistry partner, Emma...who happens to be a part owner of Unity. And she’s not interested in selling her family’s legacy. When Emma and Nick find themselves on opposing sides, both are willing to do anything to win. But as their connection grows deeper, they become torn: Can they choose between their love for Unity and their plans for the future—and for each other?

Nick Kelley’s days may have been cut short on the football field, but he’d poured that concentration and intensity into becoming a business owner of a very successful bar, poised to expand his business to a brewery…until he realises it’s an old school friend who stands in his way. But as the attraction grows, the deal that he and Emma Vandenburg made seems to overshadow what they both want but can’t get.

Taut and very confidently handled, Addison Fox brings together a cast of very diverse backgrounds and makes the very strong case for bonds that go beyond blood ties. More than the romance however, I liked the unusual but solid relationship between three (unrelated) boys who’d made good with their foster mother and called themselves a family and ‘At Last’ is as much as a burgeoning romance between old school friends as much as it is about family and social relationships in a gentrified area of Brooklyn.

However, I find myself torn between great writing and a plot/characters which I didn’t exactly like and my rating simply reflects this conflict. There were several aspects of the book that I couldn’t get into, namely the multiple POVs present, the sluggish pacing with the secondary love stories and the loose threads that seemed to go nowhere by the end of the book.

Fox’s writing is stellar really; it’s only the leads whom I couldn’t quite connect with as well, particularly Emma, whom I found less than a sympathetic character, taking her own insecurities and past hurts on others around her and on the very classy Nick…who truly deserved better than what she could give. And while Fox did more than a credible job unravelling the lead characters’ motivations and inner angst, ‘At Last’ didn’t pack as much of an emotional pack as I expected, even with a resolution that should satisfactorily appease most readers.