After reading the first story in this series (Heat Wave) I decided to give this one a try. A quick, fun, and dare I say, sexy read – the story of Gavin McLeod and Aimee Lee ‘Sunny’ Black is a nice reprieve from the typical rich boy/poor girl story. Set in small town USA, businessman Gavin is going back to the place where he had some of his fondest childhood memories fishing with his grandfather. During a daytrip to Anticue, he stops by the bar where Sunny works to scope it out for a possible business opportunity. Sunny’s put every penny she has and a lot of hard work into this bar to make it a place where she and her brother can call home.
This is a good story. The pace is good, the characters are good. Unfortunately, I didn’t find Gavin and Sunny interesting. Instead I found myself wanting to learn more about Callie and Jason. But I’ll get back to that in a bit. Gavin grew up with his grandfather, on a farm, after his parents died. Along the way, he lost his true self in order to become the next big thing. He was completely focused on getting to the top of the pyramid. But when you get to where you think is the top, there’s always another mountain to climb and these are lessons that Gavin has to learn. Too bad he learns them the hard way. He also didn’t learn the rules about making and keeping friends that will keep you from believing your own hype.
Sunny’s life has been a sacrifice for her younger brother, Robbie. Both of their parents turned out not to want to be parents and Sunny took up the slack by taking over guardianship of Robbie. She and Robbie are both happy living above the bar and running its daily operations. Her independence and determination to be a good role model to Robbie were about the only things that I liked about her. I didn’t feel the ‘passion’ that she had for Gavin. I didn’t feel the passion that Gavin had for her either. I do know that they jumped into the sex thing very quickly (we’re talking hours not days here) after meeting. For me, that’s too quick to have this be a romance because there’s nothing romantic about that – hormonal for a teenager, yes, but for grown folks, not so much. They also fell victim to the trend that guys don’t even ask girls on dates anymore. Just some hot sex and the requisite ‘I love you’ without even getting to know each other’s personalities.
Going back to Callie. She was a much more interesting character to read about. She’s 24 and has had her heart set on marrying Gavin since she was 14. It’s a shame that Gavin didn’t see her in that light but I could understand why. Callie is the very spoiled daughter of very rich parents. She doesn’t work, travels six months of every year and lives in her parents pool house. What a unfulfilled life, but who am I to cast stones? The sad thing about Callie is that she’s okay with her life. She doesn’t want to work and has no aspirations to be independent of her parents’ wealth. During the chain of events that affect Gavin’s future with his employer (Callie’s father’s company) and Sunny’s bar – Callie’s grit finally starts coming through. Turns out she’s not as stupid or self involved as she might seem. Even more exciting than finding out about Callie, is Jason – a host at the country club. Turns out Jason’s been hiding a few secrets of his own.
Between the tension and lies between Gavin and his boss, and the lies and cover-up in Anticue – things literally get explosive for Gavin, Sunny and Robbie. If you read the first in the series and liked it, you’ll like this one also. Just be aware that these stories are not connected and can be read as stand alone.
Happy reading folks!
*ARC provided via NetGalley
Click to purchase: Amazon
by Alannah Lynne
Release Date: October 1, 2012