Saturday, July 27, 2013

Alice's Review: Hotshot

Summary:  Peyton Lockhart and her sisters have inherited Bishops Cove, a small, luxurious oceanfront resort, but it comes with a condition: The girls must run the resort for one year and show a profit—only then will they own it.  A graduate of a prestigious French culinary school, Peyton has just lost her job as a food critic. Out of work and in a bad place personally, a year doing something completely different sounds wonderful.  There are countless challenges and too many people who want to stop the sisters from succeeding. Among them are Peytons contentious cousins, who are outraged that they didnt inherit the resort, as well as a powerful group of land developers who have been eyeing the coveted beachfront property.  Its soon apparent to Peyton that their efforts are being sabotaged, but she refuses to let the threats scare her—until shes nearly killed. She calls on her childhood friend and protector, Finn MacBain, now with the FBI, and asks for his help. He saved her life once; he can do it again? ~

Review:  I love Julie Garwood.  I think that it’s pretty clear because year after year I read her newest novel knowing full well what will happen.  Sometimes I get a warm fuzzy feeling watching love blossom before my eyes.  Sometimes those very same eyes seem permanently rolled to the top of my head as I have a hard time believing or accepting this perfect love.  Hotshot was all about the warm fuzzy feeling.

I really enjoyed the romance between Peyton and her childhood hero Finn, who of course is a gold medal winning FBI agent.  (Three times, no less.  Come on.  Seriously?)  Much to her chagrin, she inadvertently puts her life in danger.  Thankfully, she has old neighbor Finn to save the day. (A Julie Garwood hero named MacBain? Wonder if there is a connect to Gabriel MacBain from one of my all time favorites Saving Grace?)

What was interesting to me is although the story seemed far from plausible, the passion and the attraction Finn and Peyton felt for each other wasn’t.  It wouldn’t be a contemporary romance without the song and dance that goes along with the attraction.  There needs to be some “will they or won’t they” in order to make the story work.  The truth is the formula that makes a romance work is the very thing that drives me crazy about them.  I know the couple will end up together, but sometimes I wish they just wouldn’t.  How about some genuine heartache for a change instead of mild misunderstanding?   End of rant.

As with her other novels, both characters are seemingly perfect.   Surprisingly I didn’t find it nearly as annoying as I did with SweetTalk (read my review here).  I really enjoyed them.  Their passion came through on the pages, Hotshot was a lot steamier than I am used to reading.  And the spark I was worried Ms. Garwood had lost?  It’s back.  I’m looking forward to the next installment in this somewhat unconnected series.  I have a feeling we’re about the get to know Finn’s FBI partner Ronan very well.

Final Take: 4/5



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