Heart River Inn by Jocie McKade

Heart River Inn by Jocie McKade
Publisher: Self-Published
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (122 pgs)
Heat: Sweet
Rated: 3.5 Stars
Reviewed by Snapdragon

A mysterious photograph, lethal swans, gushy beds and a kitschy lovers resort in the Pocono Mountains.

Can you say single woman in hell?

Lexi Sheridan doesn’t believe in true love. It’s a fantasy found only in old Hollywood movies. She’s a journalist trying to climb the professional ladder and work her way into a national news organization. When a mysterious old photograph lands in her lap, it could be her ‘golden ticket’ to that coveted news job.

That photo leads her to the Heart River Inn, a lovers’ resort nestled in the wilds of the Pocono Mountains. The resort is a kitschy place that she at first finds nauseatingly filled with fake couples in love. However, after only a few days interviewing guests, her jaded soul begins to see things with a new perspective.

At the Heart River Inn, Lexi encounters a soft-hearted owner with a secret past, a hot manager, lethal swans, attack curtains, and an assortment of couples you won’t soon forget.

Humor is at the heart of Jocie McKade’s novella Heart River Inn. Main character Lexi is one of those likable and humorously accident-prone ladies who seem hell-bent on one course of action, even while another lies easily open before her. She’s a journalist, a good journalist, and a few minor mishaps are not going to force her to change course.

She’s not one for ‘romance’ and doesn’t believe in the mushiness of love. No, she is utterly intent on digging skeletons out of closets. In the meantime, she’s tripping around this resort-slash-love nest, as totally the odd woman out.

An excerpt delivers a great look at her perceptions:

Dinner was hell. It was the most indescribable form of forced humiliation I have ever experienced. The dining room featured community seating, which meant “single girl stuck alone at a table full of couples.” Most were polite enough not to ask, but then there was Jimmy. The dark haired man with the thick Brooklyn brogue had no problem delving into my apparent singleness.

“So, where’s your husband?” he grunted out between large bites of lasagna. “Sick or something? Gotta be sick, cause no man in his right mind would let something that looks like you eat alone, especially not in a place where the men walk in the door horny.”

I reached into my bag for a hallucinogenic and found only an antihistamine…

The underlying thread of comedy persists wonderfully throughout. Characters are strong, opinionated, endearing, and even lovable.

I have to admit, I struggled to develop some interest in reading much beyond the opening in this story. Although the beginning is refreshingly direct with the promise of a very original approach…it doesn’t really grab the reader. However, perseverance pays off–mostly because Lexi is funny and genuinely likable. This story is a charming diversion. Snappily written – do read.

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