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(Never Too Late #3)

4.54  ·  Rating details ·  141 ratings  ·  111 reviews
A slow-burn, friends-to-lovers standalone holiday romance

The bad guy never gets the girl.

In the eyes of the law, I’ve paid for my youthful mistakes but I know I can never undo the damage I’ve caused. When I stepped out of my cell, I vowed to live a good life, make the right choices, and avoid temptation at all costs.

Until her.

She’s not a choice, she’s a compulsion. A
Kindle Edition, 199 pages
Published November 20th 2020 (first published November 13th 2020)
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Average rating 4.54  · 
Rating details
 ·  141 ratings  ·  111 reviews

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Nov 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Pining was back in 2019 part of an Anthology which consisted of eight novellas.
Now Pining has got an upgrade and the story is more developed and explored. Now the reader gets more. A deeper look into the characters and the dynamics between them all.

Pining is a spin off of Simmer and Rewrite and can easily be read as a stand-alone. All the characters from those books appear and it was so good to be back with Sara, Drew, Josh and Brianna. Victoria is Sara and Josh’s daughter and she’s a pretty rem
My Own Bookshelves
This is a holiday standalone you do not want to miss!
*Swears on Santa's toy bag*

This does feature the second generation from previous books. But truth be told, I read them so long ago, it's not a requirement. (However, you'll be curious and do so.)

Let's talk about the Italian Henry Cavill, Anthony. Yes in looks, but what I mean is the adorable, slightly quiet, depreciating humor but not so secret geek. He's a beta wrapped up in alpha layers.
Then the heroine, Victoria is equally adorable. She s
Stephanie Rose
Sep 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
Shelves: writing
Pining is LIVE and FREE on Kindle Unlimited!

“Ready to go? I ran home to change. Can’t go to a holiday party at a comic book store without Wonder Woman colors!”

My eyes widened at the sight of Victoria in a tight red sweater over even tighter jeans. Her lips were a matching crimson, and the urge to drive my hands into her dark hair and kiss the hell out of her rendered me speechless and stupid. I wanted to scream “what the hell are you doing with me?” but at the same
Nov 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arcs
Listen to me people! If you want a swoony Christmas read with a hero so sweet you can literally taste it..Pining is the one that will give it to you. I love a flawed character that is trying to make good on past mistakes of his youth. Insert Victoria, the boss’s daughter whom he tries his best to stay away from, but the chemistry, the pull is way too strong for either one to deny.

“She’s not a choice, she’s a compulsion. A craving. A beautiful, brave heroine who walked straight off the pages of
Ariadna Basulto
Oct 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Loved, loved, LOVED this book! Stephanie Rose once again delivers a romance that’s swoony, steamy, and gives us all the feels. Plus her hero Anthony...yeah, you’re going to want to find a spoon to eat him up with. Yum!

*full review to follow**
L.J. Evans
Nov 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Boss's daughter? Check.
Torn hero trying to redeem himself? Check.
Comic and superhero love? Check. Check. Check!

Plus, the family that surrounds the couple are beautiful and bright and the very best of what the holiday is supposed to be. Which I always adore.

You won't want to miss this heartwarmingly sweet holiday novel by Stephanie Rose. Be prepared to smile and hurt and smile again!
Maria Angie Mendoza
What a swoon fest!
This book is exactly what I needed to lift my spirits. I mean come on, a hot tatted Latino with a heart of gold, a feisty beautiful and sweet Italian woman with a slight obsession with Wonder Woman...the result was magic!
This author did a stellar job in creating characters that were real, likable and had a lot of heart. Her ability to write a story about 2 people who are complete opposites but have an instant attraction was seamless! Anthony is struggling to start over and me
OMG!!! When I first read Victoria and Anthony in the shortened version of Pining in the Mistletoe Over Manhattan anthology last year, I immediately fell completely in love with Victoria. Like super hard core girl crush, for real. This expanded version of their story only made me love her more. From the little girl I first met in Rewrite and Simmer to the amazing woman she became, I can’t think of another character that I’m so insanely captivated by.

These two deserve way more stars than any rati
4.5 stars! I absolutely loved this story about Anthony and Victoria. I guess now would be a good time to confess that I have not read the books with Josh and Bri and Sara and Drew but I will soon! Regardless, that’s obviously not required to love this book and get totally lost in the story and characters. I felt so bad for Anthony and the struggles he has had in life. Both Anthony and Victoria didn’t have a lot growing up but their circumstances in their teens were quite different and they found ...more
Paperback Princess
Nov 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I swear Stephanie Rose never disappoints!!! Pining was a great little Christmas treat. It was short but it ticked every box for me. Anthony and Victoria were the absolute cutest!!! Anthony...sigh...I loved him so much. He was a man trying to get his life back on track after making a mistake in his teens when he meets Victoria. He has an instant connection to her but he feels unworthy of her so he tries his best to stay away but their attraction was too strong to deny.

This book was perfection an
Michelle Rodriguez
I had the honor to BETA read for the first time a Stephanie Rose book, well it's a novella, but I may or may not have asked her for a few more words in the form of a Prologue lol.

Here is what I will tell you about Pining, it was part of a very short anthology, so you may have already met Anthony Diaz and Victoria Falco; if you love friends-to-lovers, this is your jam; if you love a slight slow burn (not too slow) again, this is your jam; if you love a hot sexy Latino man who is redeeming himsel
Nov 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2020-books, arc
Pining is pure joy. Stephanie Rose expanded her Christmas story from last year and gave Victoria Falco and Anthony Diaz the journey they were meant to have. I loved the novella but this version is out of this world wonderful. These characters are true and feel like family. Especially since Victoria is the daughter of two couples who have their own stories in Rewrite and Simmer.

There is the right amount of angst and longing as Anthony sees himself as not good enough for Victoria and yet all she s
Vanessa (nessreads)
Nov 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
4.5 Stars

Ever since I read Rewrite and Simmer it left me wanting more, especially wanting more of Victoria, the little girl who stole the show. I needed to know more about her and wanted her story. Thankfully I did get more of her in the Mistletoe Over Manhattan anthology, but it wasn’t enough and I’m so glad Stephanie Rose decided to go back to these characters and give us more of them.

Victoria and Anthony were simply amazing. Their connection was instant and their attraction was obvious. They
Book Snob Sue
4.5 stars. Who doesn’t love to read about young-soulmate-love...that was rhetorical, pretty sure we all do. I loved seeing these two go through all the sweet, anxious and flirty love that you get with your first love. It’s always so raw and full of emotion, which she captured perfectly. Stephanie Rose is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors, I love her writing style so much. And yes, she definitely knows it, because I literally stalk....err follow her everywhere. One book and I was total ...more
Victoria Weston
Nov 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
This book is a real friends to lovers romance that was a great read. This slow burn holiday romance was a sweet read that was a great page turner. This story was part of a short novella that this author has made into a full length book and it is a a wonderfully sweet read.

Anthony and Victoria were always meant to be. Victoria is a hard worker and is a strong and beautiful woman. She fights for what she wants and when she meets him she is drawn to him to. Anthony has just been released from priso
Stefanie Jenkins
Nov 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
“In another life, I’d be everything for her, everything she wanted me to be. In this one, I was nothing.”

Oh but what Anthony doesn’t realize is that he is seriously everything! From the first moment they met, you felt the budding attraction between Victoria and Anthony. It was like flame to a paper, with words igniting and explosive.

“The only thing I was sure of was that whatever happened between us, I’d have an Anthony-shaped scar for the rest of my life.”

My heart breaks that Anthony feels he
Nov 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I first read Victoria and Anthony's short story in the Mistletoe Over Manhattan collection. I loved it. This longer version is so so much better! This book expands on everything! There is more backstory, more characters, more laughs, more steam, more everything! I fell in love with Victoria when she was a little girl in Rewrite. Her character has grown into an amazingly strong and resilient young woman. Anthony is so stuck in the shame of his past that I wasn't sure he could make his way out. Th ...more
Alley Ciz
Nov 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is such a sweet holiday read. You'll smile while reading and if you're like me and you love comics these two will hit you in the extra feels. Santa will def be swinging by for them.
Nov 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: finished
A shortened version of Pining by Stephanie Rose was included in the Mistletoe Over Manhattan anthology, and has been re-penned as a full-length young-adult novel featuring Anthony Diaz and Victoria Falco. It is a stand-alone but is also a spin-off of Simmer and Rewrite, and I liked getting updates on characters from the previous books: Sara, Drew, Josh and Brianna. Victoria is Sara and Josh’s daughter first meets our hero in the auto shop where they both work. So our sweet heroine is off-limits ...more
Nov 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc, christmas
This was a heartwarming story that hooked me from the first page. This swoony, steamy novella left me with a huge smile on my face. I just loved Anthony and Victoria. If you're looking for a great holiday story, don't miss this one!
Nov 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I read and love anything Ms. Rose writes! And Pining is no exception. I started this book and I couldn’t put it down! I adore Victoria and Anthony. Like adore. And I love that we get to check on old favorites from the last too! And I especially love that this book takes place at my most favorite time of the year too! But man, another outstanding and amazing read by Ms. Rose right here!!
A.M. Johnson
Oct 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
One of my favorites! This story is so sweet and real. I love how flawed the characters were and how they developed. At times romance can feel two dimensional, but Stephanie was able to bring her characters off the page and into my heart. Comics, and steam, and redemption. It doesn't get better than that! Five stars!
Nov 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Pining is not your typical holiday story. It is so much more. This is an upgraded short story turned into a full novella. It’s a continuation of a family ( if you’ve read Stephanie Rose’s previous books) we came to know and love. However, don’t worry if you haven’t read the previous stories because you will be able to follow Victoria’s and Anthony’s story. It clearly stands on it’s on. The thing is you after you read this story you will want to go back and read the books of this beautiful family ...more

I can't believe my baby girl Victoria is a grown up! Well, mostly grown up, she still can't legally drink. But still. It seems like just yesterday she was that sweet, shy little girl and now look at her- all in love and stuff. How did this happen?!?

Pining is such a treat- it'll put you in the holiday spirit for sure, a perfect read for this time of year! Anthony and Victoria are just so sweet together. There was definitely pining and longing looks between these two, it was so cute to witness.
Stacie Christensen
Nov 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A slow-burn, friends-to-lovers standalone holiday romance

The bad guy never gets the girl.

In the eyes of the law, I’ve paid for my youthful mistakes but I know I can never undo the damage I’ve caused. When I stepped out of my cell, I vowed to live a good life, make the right choices, and avoid temptation at all costs.

Until her.

She’s not a choice, she’s a compulsion. A craving. A beautiful, brave heroine who walked straight off the pages of the comic books I create and into my life with the supe
Christine F.
Nov 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
“Pining”—Stephanie Rose [5 stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️] Ahhh be prepared for an awesome standalone holiday romance that will give you all the feels! With “Pining” you can expect a friends to lovers romance, a swoony hero with a past, a comic book loving superhero female, and a slow burn that will just have you craving more! Anthony has made some mistakes in his past, but he vowed that after his time in jail he would make the most of his life, make the right choices, and avoid temptations. That plan all cha ...more
Nov 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed
Pining was originally a short novella as part of a holiday anthology. And when I read it, I was disappointed that it wasn’t a full length novel. I was excited when Stephanie Rose announced that she was giving us more Anthony and Victoria, and she did not disappoint. These two were so good together, and took those organic steps of becoming friends before becoming more. Although, Anthony always held back a little bit, and was worried what Victoria would say about it past. And when he finally told ...more
Nov 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc
I first read Pining when it was a novella in an anthology. Stephanie Rose has since taken that novella and expanded it into a full novel. And it is simply fantastic!

Anthony has recently been released from prison after having served two years for his part in a crime with his cousin. He is fortunate that Josh Falco (from Stephanie Rose's Rewrite) hires him to work as a mechanic in his bike shop. That is where he meets Victoria, Josh's daughter, and a fellow comic book nut. The two bond over comics
Chelé-----4 The Love of Books
Last year when I finished reading Pining as a short story that was apart of a collection called Mistletoe Over Manhattan the first thought I had was, I need more of these two and as usual Stephanie Rose came through by expanding this amazing story.

Victoria and Anthony are so special, I love the worlds Rose creates because they are so comforting and sexy and real with emotions that have you forever bonded with her characters.

Pining is perfect if you're looking for the ideal friends to lovers hol
Nov 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm not sure how this novel and this author came to my attention, but after reading this Christmas story, I'm ready to read more!

The character development was fantastic in this few hour read! Anthony, whoa! I think you are amazing! Victoria, you are too!

This warmed my heart and my soul! So needed during these trying times! Thank you for this wonderful story!

I received an advanced reader copy, and this is my honest and voluntary review.
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Romance Retreat: Pining is LIVE and FREE on KU! 1 10 Nov 22, 2020 01:29PM  
Romance Retreat: Holiday Romance ARC Giveaway! 8 28 Nov 14, 2020 04:46PM  
Romance Retreat: Pining Release events update! 1 4 Oct 03, 2020 04:25PM  
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Stephanie Rose is a badass New Yorker, a wife, a mother, and lover of all things chocolate. Most days you'll find her trying to avoid standing on discarded LEGO or deciding which book to read next. Her debut novel, Always You, released in 2015 and since then she's written several more—some of which will never see completion—and has ideas for hundreds to come.

Other books in the series

Never Too Late (3 books)
  • Rewrite
  • Simmer

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