Welcome back to the site that aims to bring you bookish fun every day of the week, or close to it at least, Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers.
Yesterday, we brought you a SPECIAL GUEST POST from author Christie Ridgway as the TLC Book Tours END OF SUMMER BLOG TOUR stopped by. She shared with us some fab ideas for the dwindling summer days with her 'Hot Days, Hot Dates' topic that's sure to add a little sweetness to end the season on a high note. Speaking of sweetness...
As promised, today we are spending another day with the author's writing, but in this case, it's in the form of a book review! (Imagine that...a book review...on THIS site. Have you ever?! ^-^) I had the pleasure of reading her latest release (the same said title of which you can win - among others - by entering the END OF SUMMER BLOG TOUR giveaway going on now!) via Harlequin Books and though it was my first venture into her catalog of published works, it's doubtful it'll be my last. Readers, get your mountain gear ready and steel your hearts because we're about to go "up the mountain" to all the temptations that Blue Arrow Lake has to offer. Today's book of choice is...
Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: HQN Books (June 30, 2015)
Welcome back to charming Blue Arrow Lake as temptation sizzles in a glittering new romance from USA TODAY bestselling author Christie Ridgway
Blue-collar landscaper Brett Walker has no interest in the Hollywood vacationers flocking to his hometown in the California mountains. But the scarred ex-soldier does have a duty to protect Blue Arrow Lake—and the family ski resort—from a serial burglar. So when he suspects a break-in, he takes action…and ends up catching sinfully tempting down-on-her-luck heiress Angelica Rodriguez. She reminds him of trouble, but he can’t deny her a safe place to stay—in one of his cabins.
Angelica has plenty of reasons to distrust—losing her money to her father’s legal woes being one of them. Getting up close and naughty with rough, tough and sexy Brett tempts her out of her comfort zone and into the arms of a man who’s not from her wealthy world. She’s after safety and he’s chasing justice, but the fire between them might reveal that all they want is each other.
There's so much sizzle and sweetness with a touch of dark that once you start, you won't want to stop. Eventually, you'll have to...because you've reached the book's end, but there are other stories to discover in the Blue Arrow Lake series. But I digress, let's focus back on this one, my first foray into this author's works...
We've got a solid story line that's shared by two potential couples, a smattering of siblings, and a touch of darkness. Some of the set up reminds me of other Contemporary Romance authors I'm a fan of, such as Kristan Higgins and Susan Mallery, but nowhere near a carbon copy, making it familiar in only the most lovely of ways. Now, back to those elements mentioned. The latter of that grouping (darkness) is both internal and external, allowing the characters another dimension of "realness" to which readers can relate (though hopefully not in a direct sense considering what their secrets are). Our leads have some issues to work through (valid though they are) as does the town with its recent string of crimes, but the combination of potential love blooming, familial ties, and a little mystery that needs solving before someone gets hurt, will keep you turning pages til the last. Let's take a closer look at those characters...
Take one former uptown princess, add a HEAPING MOUND of scandal though not of her own doing, wipe away all the wealth and advantage they were use to, add an experience no one should ever have, and gently place a heart of gold within...you've got Angelica in a nutshell. She's traveled up the mountain to escape the reality that is her life, but some thing you can't leave behind no matter how hard you try and others find you when you're least expecting it. Enter one Brett Walker. He's the former help (did the lawn work at Angelica's family estate years back) who's always had an eye for Ms. Rodriguez, but would never act on the impulse out of respect...for their differences. Yeah, respect is a lofty word here because it was more he figured they were from two different worlds that weren't meant to mix. Flash forward to today, he's a man's man with a protective streak a mile long, for his family, friends, and particular damsels in distress. At times boarish and most definitely a "guy" (interpret that as you will), beneath the appealingly scruffy exterior is a man that's seen his share of pain, but perhaps with the right touch, his heart may be freed of its steely cage. Love at first sight for these two? Hardly...lust, certainly...but it's funny how things can change.
Though the main focus is on Brett and Angelica, there is another potential pair in the works here. Glory is a long time mountain girl, born and bred; Kyle is a newcomer who seems too good to be true, but without any direct indications of why. You want to believe it's THAT easy. It SHOULD be that easy...but just like Glory, you can't quite put your finger on what may or may not be there. I must say as much as I was rooting for our lead couple, I was also interested in seeing how Glory's story would play out. She too deserved happiness after all, and boy was Kyle intent on getting back into her good graces! A marching band....seriously? A marching band? ^-^ Their story just adds another layer to an already delightful tale that'll keep you coming back for more.
To conclude (since I see I'm getting long winded again), it was a delightful story filled with hardship, those learning to trust, and ultimately the lesson of following our hearts. What's that saying? If we never take the chance, how can we expect to fall? A hard lesson to learn but one that is illustrated here perfectly. Recommended read for adult readers as there are a few "fun times" that are not so PG-rated, but they are fewer in number than the playful flirting and seductive glances so it still rates well in my book.
About the author...
Christie Ridgway is the award-winning author of over forty-five contemporary romances. Known for stories that make readers laugh and cry, Christie began writing romances in fifth grade. After marrying her college sweetheart and having two sons, she returned to what she loved best—telling stories of strong men and determined women finding happy ever after. She lives in Southern California. Keep up with Christie at www.christieridgway.com.
Special thanks to Lisa at TLC Book Tours and the Harlequin Books team for the review copy. (THANKS!) For more information on this title, the author, the publisher, or those tours on the horizon, feel free to click through the links provided above. This title is available now via Harlequin Books, so be on the lookout for it on a bookstore shelf or virtual retailer of your choosing.
Until next time...happy reading!