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4.10  ·  Rating details ·  73 ratings  ·  31 reviews
All Haven Jameson ever wanted was to own a little piece of paradise. Now, she does, having established a successful luxury spa in St. Augustine, Florida. But when the property next door is sold to a mega developer and his pro-golf celebrity brother, who design trendy, bustling playgrounds for the rich and famous, she fears her dream could slip away. Confronted by her late ...more
Kindle Edition, 268 pages
Published January 1st 2014 by Soul Mate Publishing
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4.10  · 
Rating details
 ·  73 ratings  ·  31 reviews

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Who knows when the “right” one comes along or what their initial purpose for being in your life could be? Haven has opened an extravagant spa for visitors to St. Augustine, FL. The pampering begins at the front door and continues until check out time. Alone since the death of her philandering husband, Haven has shied away from relationships. That all changes when a widowed pro golfer/ playboy comes on the scene. Pace is interested in only two things, the property next door, to open his own retre ...more
Ruthie Taylor
Jul 14, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"I received a free copy of this book to read and review for Wicked Reads."

i really enjoyed this book, reading it in one sitting - great for the diet!

This is a well thought out and written book, which ticks lots of boxes for the reader of steamy, thoughtful romances. Both the lead characters have been through the mill and yet are still strong people. They are reluctant to try again, and one person in particular is keen to keep them apart. But they also have good family and friends who just suppor
Lisa Gemmell
Mar 03, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
**Provided by Netgalley for honest review+

This was an inspirational book based on how two woman's life had been turned upside down from different situations and how they came together to fill their dreams and turning something bad into good. This book has everything you require in a novel except you get two stories instead on one.

So this book is based on the two woman running and owning the Essence Spa Resort in Florida. The land beside the Spa is going up for sale and this is where Pace and Ja
Misha Crews
Jan 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014
Sexy and sweet at the same time, this is a memorable love story with a setting that I definitely want to revisit. There is something about Mackenzie Lucas's writing that is both soothing and spellbinding at the same time. Every time I picked this book up, I started to relax...and yet I never wanted to put it down to go to bed!

If you like steamy stories that will touch your heart and make you fall in love, then Essence is for you!
Mar 12, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dec 06, 2017 rated it liked it

This was about two people who have lived through the loss of loved ones. And are ready, unknowingly, to move on. She owns a spa, he is in the area to buy land for his next golf club and spa. They also have a woman, one who owns the property, who wants him and wants her to be miserable. There is the possibility of her deceased husband infidelity with the other woman. Will they get together? Or will he ruin her business to make his plans golden? What about the other woman?
Diana Nelson
Dec 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Wonderful story

This is a terrific read about second chances and the process of grieving the past so you can live a better future
Oct 14, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
**Was given an ARC by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review**

Due to downloading difficulties, I was not able to read this book.
May 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
It is a great book to read
Oct 19, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Complimentary copy provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

Haven is the owner of Essence, an upscale spa and hotel located on the beach in sunny Florida. As a widow of five years, she has made the development of Essence her life, and hopes to develop her brainchild into a chain of resorts along the Florida coast. Miles, her husband of three years, was killed in a plane crash and Haven has never really gotten over the loss. She has yet to get back into the dating scene, much less
Stars: Overall 3 Narration 3 Story 3

Achieving your life-long dream to be in control of your own business and life has always been Haven’s dream, and she and her lifelong friend Sally have finally achieved success. An upscale spa that caters to the client’s every need, and things are looking rosy. Until the neighboring lot comes up for sale, and Haven and Sally learn that the interested buyers, a pair of brothers with money and connections are looking to build a rival business.

The characters in
C.D. Hersh
Jan 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Essence by Mackenzie Lucas is a story with realistic characters with their own set of emotional issues. The sexual encounters are candid but provide the reader with understanding of the characters as they work through their issues. Essence is a successful luxury spa in St. Augustine, Florida which has its own problems making it an additional character in the story.

The heroine, Haven, had a rough childhood but has developed into a smart business woman. She has put herself on the shelf with the un
May 18, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
*free copy provided by publisher via netgalley*

I guess it was ok. I guess that, since the characters are so down to earth, without any exaggerations about them or their lives (making them more believable), there’s really no other place to go with the plot, other than keep it plain and simple. And that’s what we got. No major twists or turns, no major drama, no major nothing. Just a natural flow, similar to what you’d probably find in real life – if you owned a spa or had millions in the bank.
Sassy Moms Say Read Romance
I was hooked on this book from the first chapter. Haven and Pace are dynamic together and each one comes in to the story fighting their own demons. Haven is trying to make it on her own after the death of her beloved husband and Pace swore off all relationships after the death of his wife and baby girl.
Each of them are disillusioned by their pasts and have to overcome the struggles on their own before they can ever be a couple. Pace is a guy's guy. Love 'em and leave 'em, that's his way. The wo
Zarith dol
Mar 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
ARC given by netgalley for an honest review

This is the first time I read from this author and WOW, does she set the bar high for her next book (by the can't wait). It is a very good book, just bought it no question ask. The story is excellent, the characters have combustible chemistry, not to mention the secondary couple side story and chemistry. All flame up the room.
Haven Jameson, once a dirt poor girl raised by her college-fund uncle after the death of her parents, now rich widow by her late
Feb 27, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Essence is a spa/resort in St. Augustine, Florida. The story centers around best friends Sally and Haven, who own the spa and grew up together. They have both been in painful past relationships and are reluctant to travel that road again. Their resort is successful and they are happy and fulfilled without men in their lives. That changes with the entrance of the Daniels brothers, who are in town to purchase the land next to the spa - with the purpose in mind to build a golf resort. Pace is a gol ...more
Jan 06, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was given this book in exchange for an honest review.

Essence is a story about 2 women overcoming their past to better their future. Haven and Sally open a spa and are achieving amazing success…and then they found out they are only have complete because they meet the men that complete them. A romantic story about how love fixes the worst broken hearts.

The setting of the book was fun, I just traveled to Florida right before I started reading this book and I could picture so much of it through
Dawn Parker
Jul 14, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars! Really, really enjoyed this book! It's been on my kindle for awhile and just finally got a chance to read it and glad that I did. Fantastic mix of romance, hot/steamy, BFF's sticking together and some comedy. I couldn't put this book down! It's a book that gives you two hot romances going at the same times. :)

Haven and Sally run and own Essence Spa together. It is their life and passion, along with being BFF's. Making people feel good through massages, yoga and other treatments to hea
Cary Frates
May 22, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Essence is a delightful read, and delightfully steamy read from beginning to end.
The lovely and lonely widow, Haven Jameson, has worked hard to create a spa without rival, but her world is turned upside down when the land owner of the adjacent property suddenly turns vindictive, and the buyer of that property, Pace Daniels, threatens both her heart, and the financial stability of her spa.
The writing is good, the scene-setting luscious, the characters well-drawn, and vividly portrayed (and hot!
May 08, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ok wow where do I begin. This story starts off with two best friends who truly have lost everything and they have fought through life's trials to open their dream spa. As they are getting off the ground the find out that two brothers are buying the land next to theirs for a resort. When Haven finds out more hurt and betrayal and now has to work through the pain.

I liked the story line it draws you in and keeps you to the end of the book not a really dull moment in the book. Lots of steamy moments
Joanne Guidoccio
I was captivated from the opening scene and could easily imagine spending a week at Essence, Haven Jameson’s luxury spa in St. Augustine. Throughout the novel, Ms. Lucas shares vivid descriptions of the spa’s wonderful amenities, designed to mend “broken” souls, in particular, Pace Daniels, a pro golfer fighting his own private demons. While the chemistry between Haven and Pace sizzles, there are several obstacles. Pace and his mega developer brother are planning to build a resort next door that ...more
Beyond the Pages
Off the bat, I must say that this book was not what I was expecting. It was, at the root, a good story, in the sense of being about two people finding love after suffering great losses. But...Essence lacked something. It was too quick, too raunchy, too predictable. The romance was eclipsed, in my opinion, by the hot and steamy. This was the case with Haven and Pace, as well as with Sally and Jason. After a while, the cliches took over. I guess I could sum up my review by saying that it was not e ...more
N.W. Moors
Fifth richest woman Haven meets pro golfer Pace. She's the poor gorgeous (with the big rack) but smart woman who married the older rich man who dies and leaves her with all his money. He also had a mistress and child that she doesn't find out about until after his death.
Pace is the handsome pro golfer (with the big junk) whose wife and baby died in an accident ten years ago and he is still suffering from needless guilt. Throw in Haven's best friend who becomes involved with Pace's adopted broth
Mar 16, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
*** I have received an ARC via NetGalley ***

Reading this story I felt like I was in a spa myself ;) and it made this book a perfect read to prepare for a vacation (or to read it while tanning yourself on the beach).
However, I wasn't that impressed with the idea that Haven and Sally "needed" men in their life to make their happiness complete... Hm, yeah.
Putting that aside, I enjoyed reading "Essence", there was no unnecessary drama but lots of emotions instead (Haven and Pace!) and Mackenzie Luca
This was a really sweet story and I really enjoyed it. The reason it gets 3 instead of 4 stars is just one of reading kirks. I just don't like stories when both characters are falling in love with best friend or brothers. I get invested in one romance and usually end up skipping the other. That's is just me. It if you like when there is more than one romance the you will love it. I received this arc for an honest review.
Jan 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Escapism at its Finest
Busy woman dream of the ocean, spa days, and yoga sessions. Mackenzie Lucas adds a healthy dose of romance and she takes the reader to an intimate oasis. She electrifies the senses with vivid imagery and keeps the tension high as she puts her characters through an emotional and physical riptide.

InD'tale Magazine

The idea of two women running a destination spa is refreshing, and although it is explained that Haven was once a massage therapist, it’s doubtful she’d lay hands on a client considering her position as owner.

Read full review in the 2014 June/July Double Issue of InD’tale Magazine.
Amanda Peake
Apr 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: love-story
I am currently at Jacksonville Beach about thirty minutes from St. Augustine so this read had me trapped. I loved the characters that were FLAWED but relateable. The story line was well written and it makes you curious ..... what next. Thanks for allowing me to read this book!
Apr 18, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: net-galley
I really liked the main characters. I love it when both are damaged in some way, it makes for better chemistry in my opinion. I also loved the secondary characters. I am one who loves happy endings so I am a fan of the ending.
Dec 02, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good read! I especially enjoyed the emotional healing journey that the main characters went through on their path to a full relationship with each other.
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Mackenzie Lucas is an avid reader of genre fiction. She writes contemporary and paranormal romance. She loves a good story, whether it’s an erotic short, a full-length romance novel, or the narrative slice-of-life found in country music. In any story, emotional integrity and authenticity are most important to her as well as a big dose of romping hot sexual tension. She enjoys smart-mouthed, sexy h ...more
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