My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Sultry Scale: 3 of 5 flames
Perfect for readers of Susan Elizabeth Phillips and Rachel Gibson, this sizzling romance tells the story of a sexy small-town mayor and a notorious “bad girl,” who discover that home really is where the heart is.
Monica Appleby is a woman with a reputation. Once she was America’s teenage “Wild Child,” with her own reality TV show. Now she’s a successful author coming home to Bishop, Arkansas, to pen the juicy follow-up to her tell-all autobiography. Problem is, the hottest man in town wants her gone. Mayor Jackson Davies is trying to convince a cookie giant to move its headquarters to his crumbling community, and Monica’s presence is just too . . . unwholesome for business. But the desire in his eyes sends a very different message: Stay, at least for a while.
Jackson needs this cookie deal to go through. His town is dying and this may be its last shot. Monica is a distraction proving too sweet, too inviting—and completely beyond his control. With every kiss he can taste her loneliness, her regrets, and her longing. Soon their uncontrollable attraction is causing all kinds of drama. But when two lost hearts take a surprise detour onto the bumpy road of unexpected love, it can only lead someplace wonderful.
I have to first apologize to the author and publisher of this book. I received a free copy for review, but then it fell through the cracks and I just recently ran across it again.
This was an enjoyable read, but it didn't have me excited to get back to the book. Though some of that can be attributed to the fact that I was reading it in the midst of Mardi Gras. I even read it while camped out in the cold before the parades started one day.
Anywho, the blurb and the cover had me thinking this was going to be a quick funny romcom... but that wasn't the case. This was the story of two somewhat damaged individuals finding each other, and love seems to solve all their problems. I did get emotionally invested in the characters - more so with Jackson than Monica. I even found myself tearing up at a couple points in the book.
Jackson is our hunky young mayor suffering from the loss of his parents and raising his younger sister. I don't normally go for the good guy types, but Jackson was broody and passionate enough to win me over. If I could've met a good guy like him, my parents would be estastic and my dating life would have had a lot less drama! But there's still hope, so I'll cross my fingers real hard.
Monica is a tortured heroine of the variety that acts out and rebels against her childhood with sex, drugs and rock-and-roll. Then she is embarrassed by her behavior and reputation that follows her as an adult. I didn't start connecting with Monica's character until the latter portion of the book when she is dealing with her feelings for Jackson and her mother. I guess I'm still a skeptic with regard to the whole "love will set you free" premise.
So overall it was a good read, just not very exciting. I'm not sure if it's because I have a galley copy, but there was not good delineation when the story was shifting focus. One minute you'd be reading about Jackson, then the next paragraph switches to Shelby. (It's told in 3rd person POV, by the way.) I think some separation between the paragraphs would've helped out with transitions in the story.
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