When Alexa inherited the flower shop previously run by her mentor she was determined to do whatever it took to make a success of things. That isn't going to be easy with the local hardware store doing it's best to steal her business though and now she is really struggling to make ends meet. Selling her dream house to move into a rented apartment above her shop may not be what she's always wanted but if that's what it takes to get Divine Flowers back in the black then that's what she's going to do. She hasn't even been living in her new apartment for a day when things start to go wrong but when the handyman who comes to fix things looks as hot as Dillon Alexa isn't going to complain too much. It's about time something went right and some no strings fun with a hunky, tattooed handyman sounds perfect. What she doesn't realise is that Dillon is part owner of Value Hardware and that makes him her enemy. Dillon is immediately drawn to Alexa and wants to help her business succeed but he worries that if he lets her know his true identity then she won't trust him to have her best interests at heart. As the pair grow closer Alexa steals his heart but if she finds our his secret then she'll never forgive him.
I'm a massive fan of Cari Quinn's writing but most of the stories I've read by her have been fairly short novellas so I was excited to see what she could do with a longer story. Let me tell you right now that she nailed it with No Flowers Required. This is a fantastic sexy contemporary romance with a heroine you'll want to be best friends with and a hero you'll want to jump the bones of! I have a thing for guys with tattoos so I was pretty sure I'd like Dillon but add in a sweet and caring personality, a super hot body and an eyebrow piercing and I was completely sold! Yes, I have found yet another book boyfriend - now where are the guys like Dillon in real life? I did get a little frustrated with him for not coming clean with Alexa about his identity sooner but because we get to see part of the story from his point of view it was easy to see how conflicted he felt. He was falling hard and terrified of losing her but he was also guilt ridden over keeping his secret and that made it very easy to forgive him. All Dillon wants is to help Alexa succeed and achieve her dreams and find a way to keep her in his life.
We met Alexa previously in No Dress Required and it was great to get to know her better. She is best friends with previous heroine Nellie and sister to Jake so we get a chance to catch up with the couple and see how they're getting along about 2 years after their story started. Before inheriting Divine Flowers Alexa was a party girl who worked hard but mainly wanted to have fun. Since taking control of the business her dreams have changed and she just wants to prove to everyone that she can make a success of things. She wants to be independent and stand on her own two feet but with everything that has been going wrong in her life recently she has started to lose her confidence. All she needs is someone to believe in her and give her a little push in the right direction though and that is where Dillon comes in. He can see that she has the skills to create a successful business but she just needs a little advice on the day to day stuff.
The couple definitely have a case of instant lust, from the moment they meet they can't take their eyes (and very soon their hands!) off each other but I was pleased that Cari Quinn takes time to develop the emotional connection between them. As they get to know each other their connection just gets stronger and stronger and I loved seeing how they both dealt with that. No Flowers Required was a fabulous instalment to the Love Required series and it's an erotic contemporary romance that I would highly recommend. You don't have to have read No Dress Required to follow the story but I really enjoyed Nellie and Jake's story too so I suggest you do! I can't find any information about future books in this series but I have a feeling that we might get to see more of Dillon's brother Cory and a certain staff member he seems to have a love / hate relationship going on with. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that we will anyway because that would also give us a chance to catch up with Dillon and Alexa!