Employee of the Month by Tracy Rogers

MONTH
Employee of the Month by Tracy Rogers
Publisher: Beachwalk Press
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (134 pgs)
Heat level: Hot
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Willow

Some rules are made to be broken…

Rule number 1: No touching
Rule number 2: No kissing
Rule number 3: Never, ever, fall in love

Holly Wilder finds some of those rules pretty difficult to follow during her boss’s visits to present the Employee of the Month award. A relationship between them is prohibited, and even if it wasn’t, Holly has no intention of ever falling in love again. But that doesn’t stop her from craving Max’s touch.

Hotel owner Max Lazzari never expected to break his own rules, especially when they are so important to him. But sexy employee Holly is too hard to resist. Their no-strings, secret arrangement fits in perfectly with his no-commitment plan. A plan to ensure that no woman will ever again have the opportunity to hurt him.

Sizzling nights together mean Holly and Max start looking forward to the monthly visits more and more. Until they are both brought down to earth with a bump—a pregnancy one!

Will rule breaking lead to broken hearts?

This fast-paced romance had me wishing the novel never had ended.

We have our heroine, Holly Wilder, a well respected hotel receptionist and a model employee that is alway the talk at the employee of the month award meetings. And our hero, Max Lazzari, the owner of the hotel chain that has a very strict hand-off policy that he put in place. This rule is a little hard for them to follow when they literally can not keep they hands off each other ever time Max comes to the hotel. This results in a few bumps along the road that leave both Holly and Max absentmindedly bending the rule of their ‘no strings attached’ fun.

Ms. Rogers really drew me into the emotional ride that Holly and Max seem to be on. The authors writing really put me in the heart of each scene. Being able to read and understand the true feelings and thoughts of both Max and Holly certainly made me feel like I was right along side them for the ride.

The story flow was brilliant and the character development was fantastic, I could really feel the chemistry between Holly and Max. Through the whole book I was walking the line between wanting to know what happens next and wanting to savour this wonderful story.

I highly recommend this novel to all those who love romance novels.

The Wrong Drawers by Misty Simon

WRONG
The Wrong Drawers by Misty Simon
Publisher: Wild Rose Press
Genre: Contemporary, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Full Length (249 pgs)
Heat Level: Sensual
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Aloe

Ivy Morris is back, and this time she’s determined to stay out of trouble. She’s comfortably ensconced in her costume shop, happy as a clam. Happy as a clam can be, anyway, when her father has moved in with her for an indefinite amount of time, putting her love life frustratingly on hold.

So when her best friend asks for help with an in-home demonstration party, Ivy jumps at the chance to get out of the house and away from Dad. She has no idea of the subject until she gets a look at the cookies. But that becomes the least of her troubles when she walks straight into another murder scene. One where she’s the prime suspect.

What else could go wrong? When you’re Ivy Morris, the only right answer is “everything.” With the help of hunky Ben Fallon, this girl will try to figure out why she’s being framed and what it has to do with her getting THE WRONG DRAWERS.

Ivy is losing her mind. She moved miles away from home to have her own life and now her Dad has come to visit. It also doesn’t look like he’s going home any time soon. She has a hunky boyfriend she wants some alone time with and between working and her Dad, it isn’t going to happen. What’s a girl to do?

This is Ms. Simon’s second novel about Ivy. I haven’t read the first one but this one stood just fine on its own. I like her main character and Ivy’s squeeze. I also like the touch of having Dad around. Without seeming it should, it adds more spice to the story. Ms. Simon’s words flow well, the story fits together nicely and she keeps you wondering what will happen next.

To get some time away from her Dad, she agrees to help her girlfriend do a party. You know, like a Tupperware party. Except it’s not Tupperware they’re selling; it’s sexy stuff. Ivy gets a clue about that when she notices the shape of the cookies she’s icing…

If it isn’t bad enough she’s embarrassed by the party items, she has argument with the demonstrator and hides in the bathroom for a break. When she comes out, the woman is dead and she’s got Ivy’s scarf around her neck.

There’s a lot of give and take between all characters, more than one romance going on, and Ivy trying hard to prove her innocence. Despite all that, she’s still trying to find the time to have some loving of her own. You have to admire her persistence and her ability to cope when everything seems to be going against her.

I found it to be an interesting cozy mystery with an odd mystery and enough love for everybody. What more could you want?

The Night Belongs to Fireman by Jennifer Bernard

FIREMAN
The Night Belongs to Fireman by Jennifer Bernard
Publisher: Avon/HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full Length (296 pgs)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Xeranthemum

Daring . . . Sexy . . . Irresistible . . .
They’re the Bachelor Firemen of San Gabriel

When fireman Fred Breen rescues a bachelorette party after a construction crane collapses onto their limo, the media labels him the “Bachelor Hero.” But all Fred can think about is the petite brunette with the sexy mane of dark curls who bolted away from him faster than a wildfire after he carried her to safety. And when he discovers she’s none other than Rachel Kessler, the daughter of a tech billionaire, the girl whose kidnapping riveted the nation, he intends to learn every intimate detail about this intriguing woman who sets his pulse on fire.

Rachel can’t deny the lean-muscled firefighter is smokin’ hot. But after having one too many drinks at the bar where she first meets him, Rachel knows she’s made a fool of herself. Yet when he rescues her from the limo, she feels safe for the first time since she was held for ransom as a child. Then her overprotective father insists Fred be her bodyguard—and his close presence kindles a burning desire that only he can extinguish.

I find nothing more romantic than a story about two people who love each other so much, they want the absolute best for the other person, even at their own expense. It’s a theme that has been done numerous times in the past but this time it’s special. The author put her own clever stamp on the storyline by making the hero a hunky fireman who doesn’t think he’s anything special, and a woman with a scary past who is so rich, she’s been stuffed behind a wall of protection all of her adult life. The basic outcome is eventually the hero finally understands he IS special, and worthy of the title ‘hero, and the heroine learns to stand up for herself and not let the terror of the past dictate her future. They each do things that benefit the other but as is the course of human nature when crisis is in the mix and emotions and passions run high, folks don’t always say or do the brightest things in those types of situations. Such is one of the conflicts in this story and Ms. Bernard navigated it well.

I really like Fred. I also find it unusual to have a hero named Fred. Initially, I thought of Fred from Scooby Doo but that didn’t last too long. Ms. Bernard’s Fred is intelligent, fit, and talented in Martial Arts and performs a job that has him run into danger and possible harm, not away. He has a few chips on his shoulder that he has to face during the course of the story. Leave it to Ms. Bernard to put her hero in the most dramatic and suspenseful of situations to get a reader’s blood pumping. Some of the scenes with Fred are full of action, written with tight descriptions that make the gritty drama and fast pace pop off the pages. He comes through at the end with heroic flair and I enjoyed every moment of it. Even his dialogue showcases his personality.

Rachel is not a typical heroine. Yes, she’s pampered by daddy, but there’s a reason. A very good reason. She’s sweet, earnest and has an adventurous, fun side that seems to come out only with Fred. She’s a little rebel too and her actions, though they sometime verge on the annoying, contribute to the plot conflict. Ultimately, she does find the strength within herself to face her greatest enemy and those scenes prove to be quite gripping.

The villain of the piece was two-fold. And the one person I thought all along it might be, was not. One was a total nutcase, of which there was a tiny hint but I didn’t catch it until Fred remembered it, and the other came out of left field. That villain truly freaked me out. What a great choice of character!

When Fred and Rachel finally have had enough of their simmering feelings and act on them, the only thing I can say is, it’s a good thing that Fred is a fireman. Those pages were smoking and their getting together was sexy.

One of the cutest parts was when all the firefighter’s wives gathered to give Rachel some advice. It was adorable and fun. In fact seeing Vader again, and quite a few of the other firefighters from past books, was a true treat. This is solidly a standalone read, but it was a wonderful touch to have the other guys help Fred out when some of the situations got sticky. That reporter needs to be gagged. She’s NOT a nice person.

The Night Belongs to Fireman is a terrific addition to the Bachelor Fireman Series because it keeps the tradition of a great story, a hero and heroine that are fun to read about and a nice and easy storytelling voice. This novel has a lot going for it, including a wonderful dog, Greta. The author’s descriptions of scenes with Greta painted a clear picture and it was a delightful addition to the tale. I definitely recommend this book for romance readers, especially those who enjoy a bit of mystery and suspense to spice it up. Ms. Bernard sure knows how to entertain a reader.

A Saved Woman by Nancy Fraser

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A Saved Woman by Nancy Fraser
Lawmen and Outlaws Series
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Genre: Historical
Length: Short Story (64 pgs)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Poinsettia

Katy Anderson has experienced more heartache than most know in a lifetime. Given to a man old enough to be her father, she has spent the past six years secluded from everyone except for her three young children. Her husband’s untimely death brings relief that … finally … she and her children are free.

When Sheriff Mitch Logan arrives at the Anderson homestead, he is moved by her sad circumstances and vows to right the wrongs done to Katy. Mitch has always shied away from marriage due to his dangerous profession, yet he quickly changes his mind when Katy comes into his life, and into his heart.

Despite her best intentions to keep the handsome sheriff at arm’s length, Katy can’t help but admire his honesty, and his kindness. All too quickly, she finds her resolve weakening as Mitch convinces her to trust again.

Can Katy’s broken heart be mended?

Katy is an amazingly resilient woman given the path her life took six years ago. The tragic circumstances of Katy’s life are conveyed very quickly and without any graphic details. However, Ms. Fraser provides enough to give me a sense of what Katy had to do to survive as well as protect her young children. Katy immediately won my respect and sympathy. Despite the hardship she’s endured, Katy is still a strong and loving woman. She never let her life with Tobias break her. While she is understandably slow to trust, Katy still tries to see the best in others. In fact, I was pleasantly surprised at how quickly Katy makes friends given the fact that she’d been isolated from society for so many years.

Katy and Mitch make a wonderful couple. I really like how slow and gentle Mitch is with Katy. He never pushes her and always lets the relationship progress at her pace. I enjoyed watching Katy learn what a relationship between a man and a woman could be. Clearly, Katy’s children are the priority of her life. Fortunately, Mitch is great with Katy’s children. His interactions with them are natural and completely genuine. I do think that Mitch and his relationship with Katy are a little too perfect. Katy and Mitch encounter a small hiccup on the path to their happy ending, but it was resolved before it became a serious issue. I would have liked that situation to be teased out a bit to give Katy and Mitch’s relationship more depth.

A Saved Woman is a truly enjoyable read. Katy is definitely an admirable character, and Mitch might be the kindest and most generous hero I’ve ever encountered. I recommend A Saved Woman to anyone looking for an uplifting tale of love and kindness.

Secrets by Lynn Crandall

Cover_Secrets

Secrets by Lynn Crandall
Publisher: Crimson Romance
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Full (223 pgs)
Heat: Spicy
Rated: 4 stars
Review by Poppy

Someone is making homeless cats disappear and Michelle Slade wants to put a stop to it. The office manager at Aegar Investigations and owner of cat rescue Cats Alive, she struggles to keep together the life she’s forged since the one she knew shattered five years ago on the night she was raped. She couldn’t have predicted that the rape’s impact would reach into her present life and put a strangle grip on all she holds dear, thanks to the evil machinations of powerful businessman, William Carter.

When Michelle’s problems with Carter escalate, friends rally to help her, with private investigator Casey Mitchell at the top of the line. When Casey finds his investigation takes him down a very dark path of diabolic and life-threatening research conducted by Carter Enterprises, he attempts to keep his work life and his private identity as a were-lynx separate. However, though he’s been trained his whole life to keep his identity and his colony of were-cats protected, he now struggles with terrible aloneness.

As they are thrown together to save the missing cats and remedy worse problems, Michelle and Casey can triumph and find true love, or lose everything.

A solid entry into the paranormal romance genre!

Secrets was a well plotted and interesting story filled with mystery and longing. Our heroine, Michelle, is a strong, intelligent women trying to rebuild her life after being raped five years earlier. She struggles with feeling safe and it’s also impacted her willingness to become involved with any man.

Casey is the perfect foil for her. He’s incredibly patient and sweet, and also just crazy in love with her. He treats her much like the fearful, feral cats they both deal with and it keeps her from running completely away. He’s such a great guy!

At first, I thought the premise in the blurb sounded a little silly. I love cats (I have cats), but basing an entire mystery on some missing cats? I think the blurb misrepresents the depth of the story, however, and I hope it doesn’t keep other readers from giving it a try. The truth is there is a much deeper, more frightening mystery in there and it’s all tied together with Michelle’s past and Casey’s past and current life.

The plot was interesting, but it’s clear there was at least one other book in this series. Not that this didn’t stand alone, but I could tell there was backstory with one couple here that I was missing. Even so, it didn’t really impact my enjoyment of this book, just made me wonder what had happened before (and I’ll most likely go check out what came before).

The story was also packed with interesting and unique secondary characters. The author did a great job creating a community here, and that always makes the story a better read for me. I adore having a group of people to get attached to. It gave the story a richness to be savored.

I also enjoyed her voice and writing skill, though occasionally some lines seemed strangely constructed. For example, “The thought hit Carter’s face, and the truth registered for a moment, then dropped to the floor.” While I understand what she’s trying to convey, the odd vision of a thought flying across the room like something tangible, hitting him in the face and then falling to the floor pulled me right out of the story for a moment.

Still, I completely fell in love with Casey and the romance in this book made my heart sigh. Michelle is a very lucky girl. Her solid group of friends were amazing, and I can’t wait to read more about them. While the mystery of the missing cats, and Michelle’s property battle are wrapped up in this story, other questions arise, which makes it clear there’s another installment coming. I, for one, am glad. I look forward to revisiting these characters and their world.

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Nice Girls Don’t Date Dead Men by Molly Harper

DEAD
Nice Girls Don’t Date Dead Men by Molly Harper
Publisher: PocketStar
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Suspense/Mystery, Contemporary
Length: Full Length (380 pgs)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 3 stars
Reviewed by Cactus

With her best friend Zebs Titanic-themed wedding looming ahead, new vampire Jane Jameson struggles to develop her budding relationship with her enigmatic sire, Gabriel. It seems unfair that shes expected to master undead dating while dealing with a groom heading for a nuptial nervous breakdown, his hostile werewolf in-laws, and the ugliest bridesmaid dress in the history of marriage.

Meanwhile, the passing of Janes future step-grandpa puts Grandma Ruthie back on the market. Her new fiance;, Wilbur, has his own history of suspiciously dead spouses, and he may or may not have died ten years ago. Half-Moon Hollows own Black Widow has finally met her match.

Should Jane warn her grandmother of Wilburs marital habits or let things run their course? Will Jane always be an undead bridesmaid, never the undead bride?

New vampires probably shouldn’t be involved in anything Titanic-themed. Jane Jameson is back and she’s the matron of honor in her best friend’s wedding to his ladylove werewolf. Zeb and Jolene want a Titanic-themed wedding because…well why not? Jane is not overly excited about the wedding, losing her best friend’s undivided attention, her mysterious boyfriend’s recent odd behavior, and the consistent pressure from Zeb’s mother to stop the wedding so Jane can marry Zeb. You’d think all of it would be too much for a newbie vampire but Jane still finds time to look into her grandmother’s sixth fiancé. Although her plate is more than full with anything but food, Jane and her friends transverse the crazy town of Half Moon Hollows once more.

Nice Girls Don’t Date Dead Men is book two in the Jane Jameson series by Molly Harper. Although you technically don’t need to read book one to understand this one as the author does a really nice job of reminding new and returning readers of important details, I think readers should as it’s essential to understanding the cast dynamic and fully appreciating the characters themselves. In this new outing, Jane doesn’t really mature much unfortunately and I thought she came off slightly worse for the wear with her antics. The plot revolves around Jane’s best friend Zeb getting married; an event that Jane is ambivalent about at best since she’s struggling to come to terms with Zeb maturing and growing up while she isn’t. Additionally Zeb’s mother, Mama Ginger, is of course a caricature from hell bent on destroying the wedding in an attempt to make Zeb and Jane marry instead.

I found the story humorous and entertaining for the most part. The few issues I had were that Jane could have easily stopped the drama with Zeb’s mother by simply telling her that Jane was a vampire. Of course there would be no book with over the top wacky hijinks if logic actually prevailed so there is a reason for the lack of any common sense. Whether readers like that or not is a personal choice. Furthermore it was almost ridiculously easy to figure out what was going on, and who the bad guy was this time, and Jane started to look rather stupid in not figuring it out sooner. The book did everything but paint neon signs with the answers while Jane just shrugged and did nothing to add any intelligence nor intuitive thinking to any of the problems brought up. So I was much less enamored of Jane’s pratfalls, witty mumblings, and general air of buffoonery in combination with her less than average intelligence.

That said I still love the ensemble cast of characters and their ability to act as wonderful counterpoints to Jane’s sometimes irritating personality. I am not a huge Jane lover as she feels like a character pandering to a certain reading demographic. However the supporting cast is funny, entertaining, and generally helps soothe over any frustration. The writing is quick and easy to absorb without really remembering the details. It’s a little repetitive and formulaic to be sure but with the lack of real humor in the vampire genre I find this series much like ice cream. It’s not exactly something to be proud of binging on but it seems to taste so good at the time.

Slow Hand by Victoria Vane

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Slow Hand by Victoria Vane
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full Length (288 pgs)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 3.5 stars
Reviewed by Stephanotis

In rural Montana…

Wade Knowlton is a hardworking lawyer who’s torn between his small-town Montana law practice and a struggling family ranch. He’s on the brink of exhaustion from trying to save everybody and everything, when gorgeous Nicole Powell walks into his office. She’s a damsel in distress and the breath of fresh air he needs.

Even the lawyers wear boots…

Nicole Powell is a sassy Southern girl who has officially sworn off cowboys after a spate of bad seeds-until her father’s death sends her to Montana and into the arms of a man who seems too good to be true. Her instincts tell her to high tail it out of Montana, but she can’t resist a cowboy with a slow hand…

Who wouldn’t want a handsome cowboy to come to their rescue? And that’s exactly what happens to Nicole, (Nikki), when she leaves her purse on the plane. Enter Wade, attorney, and cowboy who not only gives up his seat on the connecting flight for Nikki, but helps her find her place to stay while she gets duplicate ID. Put aside the coincidence that he just so happens to be the lawyer handling her dead father’s estate, and you have the beginning of a story about a knight in shining armor.

I really liked Wade’s character and not only because he’s a man with old fashioned values. He comes across as caring and tender while at the same time as being a tough as nails cowboy. He’s got problems of his own, one being the struggling family ranch and a bad relationship with his brother Dirk who lost a leg while serving his country.  Sometimes I thought Dirk wasn’t all bad and I was waiting to see where all his hurt and anger stemmed from. He’s a great secondary character, as are all the others in Slow Hand.

Nikki was also likeable, and throughout the book I hoped she wouldn’t let this cowboy get away and would realize that he and Montana were her future. And of course, the setting was perfect. The ranch and the small town setting complimented this story perfectly. And though the plot was a bit predictable and particularly new, it was solid and enjoyable.

If you like Western settings, and can’t resist a guy in a cowboy hat and boots, I’d say this one’s just for you.

The Sweetest Thing by Lilian Darcy

THING
The Sweetest Thing by Lilian Darcy
Publisher: Tule Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full Length (312 pgs)
Heat Level: Sensual
Rated 4 stars
Review by Snapdragon

Tully Morgan hasn’t been back to Marietta for more than a few brief visits since the night of the 1996 senior prom eighteen years ago, when the chance exposure of a long-held family secret sent her running to her uncle in California in shock. She stood up her date Ren Fletcher that night, and she hasn’t seen him since. Now she’s here for an extended stay, to help take care of her seriously ill mother. It’s an edgy reconciliation, the first time that Tully, Patty and Sugar Morgan have been together since that long ago prom night. Tully has had so much anger toward Sugar… can she ever forgive her? And Sugar still has one more secret that needs to be dealt with, one that needs Ren Fletcher’s help. Has he forgiven Tully for leaving him in the lurch on prom night? And is there any chance that he and Tully can rekindle what they might once have had, when he’s still tied to someone else?

The Sweetest Thing (A Riverbend Novel) by Lilian Darcy really is sweet: it’s a sweet love story, a sweet family story, and leaves that sort of heartwarming-sweet feeling in its wake.

Of course, it is the characters who evoke the sweetness readers will savor. Tully, introduced first, is acting as her mother’s mainstay, sweetly reassuring her, even though she has her own concerns. Ren, dear soul, is sweet; the first visual of him has him holding Tully’s hand — but he is unexpectedly complicated, as is their relationship.

They’d both agreed to the parameters of their relationship, and Tully makes dutiful, rational-seeming decisions , but there is all this other stuff going on, in the way. ‘An interlude’ seems like a terrible thing to call a relationship. I have hope, though, and the hopes grow as the story carries on. But…

Every character seems to have secrets, or suspect others of having their own. Secrets might not be awful, but they get in the way:  of people, relationships, and trust. Charles, Uncle David, even her mom are important and meaningfully deep secondary characters. Sugar Morgan is somehow, someone more. Characters truly are at the center of this charming romance. Still, it IS a romance, and no matter the things between them, I continue to have hope for the main couple throughout.

The Sweetest Thing is nicely written, if occasionally wordy. Author Darcy it seems, won’t have readers overlook a detail, so perhaps too thoroughly explains points, or must include one more adjective than necessary. The wordiness occasionally slows the pace, but by no means disturbs the wonderful tenor of the story.

And I must note: I love the ‘candy’ themed cover of The Sweetest Thing. Perfectly appropriate!

The Dog Park by Laura Caldwell

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The Dog Park by Laura Caldwell
Publisher: Harlequin
Genre: Contemporary, chick-lit
Length: Full Length (344 pgs)
Heat Level: Sensual
Rating: 4.5 stars
Reviewed by Stephanotis

A couple’s best friend?

Stylist Jessica Champlin knows it takes more than a darling goldendoodle to save a marriage. She and her ex-husband, investigative journalist Sebastian Hess, had too many irreconcilable differences for even their beloved dog, Baxter, to heal. So they’ve agreed to joint custody, and life has settled into a prickly normalcy.

But when Baxter heroically rescues a child and the video footage goes viral, Jess and Sebastian are thrown together again, and her life takes some very unexpected twists. The line of dogwear she creates becomes wildly successful, and suddenly she’s in the spotlight with everyone watching — the press, the new guy she’s seeing, Sebastian and the past she never imagined she would face again. Soon there’s only one person by her side — and it’s the person she least expected. She’s willing to open up to a new normal — just as long as Baxter approves.

I have a weakness for any book featuring a cute animal so I was immediately hooked on this one. The animal in question is Baxter, a goldendoodle. Baxter’s the fur baby of Jessica and Sebastian, now divorced and sharing joint custody of him.

The story is told in the first person, through Jessica’s viewpoint. She’s an interesting character and things get more interesting for her when Baxter saves a child and the video goes viral. All through the story you have a strong feeling that her relationship with Sebastian isn’t quite over, but then Gavin enters her life. He was a fun character but deep down I kept hoping that maybe, just maybe Sebastian would win the day.

The story is full of twists and turns regarding Gavin, and also Jessica’s past. I won’t give away the last half of the book but let’s just say it had me turning the pages and reading on longer than I intended just to see if this story has a happy ending.

The dialogue is natural sounding and pacing is fast so it’s actually a quick read. I wouldn’t categorize it as a romance per se, but more about couples finding second chances and moving into the second part of their lives with a new perspective type of book.

Most readers won’t have a past like Jessica’s but she dealt with lots of emotions that most of us can relate to and that’s what made this a compelling read.

The Gull Motel by Amie Denman

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The Gull Motel by Amie Denman
A Barefoot Book
Publisher: Turquoise Morning Press
Genre: Contemporary, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Short Story (140 pgs)
Heat Level: Sensual
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Poinsettia

Savvy Thorpe needs a vacation. Finally finished with college, she heads to her favorite shabby motel on Florida’s Gulf Coast where her aunt and uncle always save her room twenty-four. She quickly finds out, though, that The Gull Motel is not just her home away from home. It’s hers to manage while her aunt and uncle take an extended trip.

Skip McComber, The Gull’s former maintenance man, has been working on Savvy’s nuts and bolts for years. Now the new owner of the bar next door, his mission is to renovate a pirate bar while being a walking temptation for the girl he can’t get off his mind.

For Savvy, keeping her cool running a motel in Florida heat is one thing, but navigating the steamy waters of a former fling takes a whole other kind of savvy. In addition to the motel and the man next door, Savvy stumbles on a plot to swindle land from the residents of Barefoot Key. Devalued properties tumble like dominoes until Savvy musters her colorful crew from The Gull Motel to make the pillagers walk the plank.

Savvy has some great ideas for revitalizing The Gull Motel, but is it too little too late?

Savvy sure has a lot on her plate for a young woman fresh out of college. Not only is she completely in charge of The Gull Motel, but she is also trying to gain acceptance into a training program that would give her access to the finest hotels in the country. However, as Savvy puts more time and effort into sprucing up The Gull, she finds that the old motel and its quirky staff are quickly wiggling their way into her heart. As if that weren’t enough, Savvy unearths a plan that might threaten everything the residents of Barefoot Key hold dear. Can Savvy save The Gull and the community before it’s too late?

Savvy is definitely a woman who works hard and always plays by the rules. She does her absolute best no matter what job she’s been given. Even though Savvy plans on getting into that special training program, she doesn’t treat The Gull as second best. She works hard to make improvements without losing sight of what makes The Gull special. I admire her dedication and integrity.

Savvy and Skip are an interesting couple to watch. They have really good chemistry, but I thought it was a little odd that they never truly addressed their spring break fling. Savvy and Skip have been dancing around their attraction for years, and Ms. Denman provides a few glimpses into their hormone charged past. However, I was left wanting more. Knowing a bit more about their history would have made Savvy and Skip’s romance more compelling.

I must say that the Halloween party and the costumes of the motel staff is my favorite part of the story, especially Savvy’s costume. I won’t spill all the details. However, I will say that I have to give Savvy credit for not only trusting Skip to pick out the costume, but also for actually wearing it to the party. This really showed that Savvy can let go and have some fun and doesn’t take herself too seriously after all.

The mystery surrounding the nefarious plans for Barefoot Key was pretty simple. Even though it was quickly and easily solved, it still served to add just the right amount of tension into this otherwise light and fun romance.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading The Gull Motel. I had fun watching Savvy balance the challenges of managing a motel and her personal life. Not quite ready to leave summer behind? Pick up a copy of The Gull Motel for an afternoon of pure entertainment.