“A Little Too Late came right on time. Five stars!”-Brittainy C. Cherry, Amazon #1 Bestselling Author
A Little Too Late, an all-new romantic standalone from Staci Hart is available NOW!
A Little Too Late by Staci Hart
Publishing Date: October 24th, 2017
Genre: Contemporary Romance
I wasn’t supposed to fall in love with the nanny.
When my wife left, she took the illusion of happiness with her, and I’ve been caught in a free fall ever since. For nine long months, I’ve been fighting to figure out how to be a single dad, how to be alone.
For nine long months, I’ve been failing.
When Hannah walked through the door, I took my first breath since I’d found myself on my own. She slipped into our lives effortlessly, showing me what I’ve been missing all these years. Because Hannah made me smile when I thought I’d packed the notion of happiness away with my wedding album.
She was only supposed to be the nanny, but she’s so much more.
The day my wife left should have been the worst day of my life, but it wasn’t. It was when Hannah walked away, taking my heart with her.
I’ve wanted to read a book by Staci Hart since a million years ago and I finally did it. And it was great. Not as great as I expected because I’d heard so many amazing things about her books that my expectations were beyond sky-high but it was definitely close. It got me hooked and I’m now purchasing every single one of her books.
Hannah is from Holland. For a few months now, she’s lived in NYC working as a nanny. She’s the dutch version of Mary Poppins and she’s a darn good cook.
Charlie has two kids, a housekeeper/cook and a wife that left him but refuses to give him a divorce. He’s also a workaholic so he needs a nanny like… yesterday.
Hannah just got out of sticky situation and walked into another one—quite literally. She knew she shouldn’t have accepted the job as Chalie’s nanny but the kids are sweet and Charlie is even sweeter. The entire world could see he needed the help. And the entire world can see the powerful connection between Hannah and Charlie.
But how in the world would Charlie and Hannah work when there are lies and bitchy wives and nasty ex-bosses?
Holy smokes. Charlie is sweeter than a bag full of chocolates and I’m so here for it.
Before Hannah, Charlie didn’t spend a lot of time with his children. He worked 24/7 and he didn’t even know his children night routine. With Hannah’s help he became an even better father and (surprisingly) an even sweeter man.
Oh, Hannah! How I wish I was a cool as she is! She’s the nicest gal in NYC. I love how brave she is for moving a million miles away from her home and into an unknown country. She knows like four languages (I think?!) and she bakes like a badass.
The only thing that I didn’t love about Hannah was that she ran from a situation when she should have done something to prevent it from happening again. I couldn’t stand that she didn’t do anything but maybe that’s just me and this is a complete unpopular opinion.
Charlie and Hannah are not the kind of characters that dive head first into something without a second thought, they think before they act. Think about the consequences of their acts and how they affect other people (very grown up!). Because of the way they are—very passive, grown-up, calm—it takes them a while (about half of the book) to finally give in and accept their connection. Sometimes it gets a little tedious reading their thoughts about how they shouldn’t have romantic feelings towards each other. I wanted to lock them in a room until they accepted their attraction, I swear.
Here comes a contradictory thought. I loved Charlie and Hannah but I wasn’t a fan of them as a couple. In my eyes they were too equal; too quiet, too calm, too passive. I would have loved for them to be with someone who was a bit more reckless, more funny, more outgoing. In the end, they won me over. They are probably the cutest, sweetest couple I’ve even read about. But I would have given this book a solid 5 out of 5 if they were opposites.
All in all, I’m glad this was my first book by Staci Hart. It’s not overly dramatic, it’s not too fast paced nor too slow, it is fantastically well written and the story is lovely and original. I hope y’all pick up this book because you’ll have a darn good time reading Charlie and Hannah’s point of views. And I’m sure a lot of you are going to fall in love with their story.
The next morning, I was up and in my office before anyone was awake, attacking my work with newfound enthusiasm and a plan in mind. Because I wanted to feel like I’d felt the night before in the kitchen again, and there was only one way to get that back.
Today, I would take a few breaks and be present. Today, I would change, work be damned. Today would mark the first real attempt. Because change wouldn’t happen on its own. I had to make it happen. And to make it happen, I would have to put boundaries in place, starting with my weekends.
I checked the clock around eleven that morning and closed my laptop, pushing away from my desk and heading up the stairs in search of my children.
When I rounded the corner into the kitchen, I found them sitting at the table with their lunches. And when they saw me, their smiles validated my grand plans with unwavering certainty.
“Hey, guys,” I said, smiling back as I walked over to them, ruffling Sammy’s hair when I passed him.
“Hi, Daddy,” he said.
Maven’s mouth was full, so she just waved, and Hannah smiled at me from the island where she was setting up a spread for sandwiches.
I snagged a grape off Maven’s plate and popped it into my mouth. She handed me another, which I accepted.
“Are you done working?” Sammy asked hopefully.
“’Fraid not, bud. But I thought I’d come have lunch with you. Is that okay?”
“Yeah! Want a Nilla Wafer?”
“Psh, obviously. And I thought we could play for a little bit before I have to get back to work. What do you say?”
He nodded, grinning. “We can play trucks! You be the bulldozer and I’ll be the tractor and Maven can be the monster truck and Hannah can be the ambulance because she helps people.”
“Perfect,” I said on a chuckle.
A burst of color caught my eye. A vase on the windowsill behind the table held a spray of red and orange tulips.
“Those are beautiful,” I said, gesturing to them. “Where did they come from?”
“Oh, I picked them up this morning,” Hannah said with that ever-present smile.
“Always a little. But I love having fresh flowers in the house, something bright and delicate and alive. Well, maybe not alive anymore, but it feels alive, doesn’t it?”
“It does,” I said as I moved to her side.
“Can I make you a sandwich?” Hannah asked.
“Nah, I think I can manage, thanks. How’s it going this morning?”
“It’s good. We went to the park this morning.”
“I rode my bike!” Sammy crowed.
“Did you? No bumps or scrapes?”
“I’m impressed. Maybe next time I can come too,” I said, hoping it was something I could deliver as I reached into the bread bag for a stack.
Hannah turned to the cupboard, returning with a plate for me.
She was still smiling, standing at my side, assembling her sandwich. It was so mundane, something completely and utterly boring, but like the weirdo that I was, I found myself watching her hands as she folded cold cuts. We worked around each other—not that it was complicated, but there was a sort of rhythm between us, a natural pace wherein I used what she wasn’t and finished just as she needed what I had. I wasn’t sure why I noticed it, but I did, and I appreciated the simple synchronicity of the moment, a breath where things were easy.
I passed her the mustard as she handed me the ham. “So, I was thinking …” I paused.
“Oh, were you?” She glanced over at me with a hint of mirth at the corners of her lips.
“I know. I almost sprained something.”
Hannah laughed gently.
“If it’s okay, I think I’d like to try to handle bedtime tonight.”
“Of course it’s okay; they’re your children.” That time, her laughter was sweet.
“Do you … would you … do you think you could maybe …”
She shifted to face me, her eyes full of encouragement.
“Would you mind … helping me?”
Hannah nodded, her smile opening up. “That’s what I’m here for. Just let me know what you’d like me to do.”
I smiled back. “I’m sorry. I know it sounds stupid. I just … I haven’t done this much on my own, but I’d like to start.”
Her eyes softened, caught by slanting light, lighting up with sunshine. “There’s nothing to be afraid of,” she said simply.
I didn’t speak.
“There’s no right or wrong, and they don’t care about anything other than you being there. It’s simple enough; you only have to try.”
“Is it really that easy?”
“It really is. You’ll see.” She reached for my arm and gave it a squeeze that wasn’t meant to be anything but friendly but held something more, something in the pressure in her fingertips and the depths of her eyes.
It was something I did my very best to ignore. But I felt the heat of those fingertips long after they were gone, even as we sat across the table from each other eating lunch, the tulips in the vase behind her bowing their long heads as the sunlight illuminated them, exposing what was hidden within their petals.
Staci has been a lot of things up to this point in her life — a graphic designer, an entrepreneur, a seamstress, a clothing and handbag designer, a waitress. Can’t forget that. She’s also been a mom, with three little girls who are sure to grow up to break a number of hearts. She’s been a wife, though she’s certainly not the cleanest, or the best cook. She’s also super, duper fun at a party, especially if she’s been drinking whiskey.
From roots in Houston to a seven year stint in Southern California, Staci and her family ended up settling somewhere in between and equally north, in Denver. They are new enough that snow is still magical. When she’s not writing, she’s reading, sleeping, gaming, or designing graphics.