An ARC has been provided by Harlequin (US & Canada)HQN Books via NetGalley.com in exchange for an honest opinion
4 to 4,5 “building self-esteem” stars
This book has been a whole journey! One that looked a lot like a roller coaster rather than a stroll alongside the beach.
In the beginning Dorothea was really annoying.
OK the teenage girl was bullied, slightly or more overweight, had no Dad etc. So she had reasons to complain BUT she really did look like a kicked puppy with huge wet eyes always hoping for some love. She wore her heart on her sleeve so it should have been easy to love her but her lack of self-esteem grated on my nerves.
Now her inner pep talks were something to admire but when I thought she would “grow a pair” and win she got just shot down by Daniel…and he had even no idea her hurt her bad.
In one word: she was a mess
Fast forward years later and life hasn’t been kind on Dorothea. She’s been betrayed by her husband, went through Hell and back. She even abandoned her dream of being a meteorologist just to help this pr@ck build his career. Given he knifed her in the back her sacrifice had a bitter taste.
Now she has inherited her mother’s Inn and every day is spent in cleaning the rooms (piece of advice: when you leave your hotel room don’t forget to throw the used condoms in the trash. Eeeeek!), manning the desk, trying to rebuild a relationship with her teenage gothic rebel of a sister Holly, being good to everyone all that with a self-esteem still in shambles.
But it will change! Dorothea has decided to be a new her! A better, more confident, more audacious her.
And I freaking LOVED it!
It was certainly inspiring but also hilarious to witness Dorothea evolve from a shy and bullied teenager into a kickass gorgeous woman with sass and spunk!
Daniel Porter will help rebuild her confidence. He’s been her forever crush and is now a retired soldier suffering from PTSD. Co-owner of a security firm with two other ex-army buddies he forgets his nightmares sleeping (energetically based on the discarded bras in the Inn’s room) with lots of women. Of course you have to portray our hero as hot, handsome, muscled, …. Everything you want in your book boyfriend.
When he’ll really see Dorothea and her generous curves, long lashes, green eyes, luscious hair etc. he’ll been smitten. I kept seeing one of the Tex Avery’s scene where the wolf is losing his mind, eyes bulging at the sight of the pin up. Well that’s what happened to Daniel.
HE WANTS HER. But on the side. He does not want to commit to anyone and his father can’t have false hope so it has to stay secret. No dating outside the Inn, no holding hands no…
What do you think this did for Dorothea? It was a slap in her face!
As much as Dorothea wanted Daniel she would not accept to be a dirty little secret! No new Dorothea deserved the undivided and proud attention of a man, plain and simple.
So each time she turned gorgeous Daniel down I wanted to shout “Good job sista! Way to go! You’re worth everything.”
Believe me the chemistry was off the charts, the room was suddenly steamy hot when these two met so Dorothea had to be VERY resolute.
I took enormous pleasure reading this story and witnessing a shy girl turn into a strong and determined woman. Wonder Woman has nothing on Dorothea! Especially when she is dodging tornadoes like Gal Gadot dodges bullets.
So to my utter disbelief I fell in love with Dorothea. I never would have expected this turn of event based on my initial reactions.
What I also loved was the humor and Dorothea’s come back. When she said “Pedal to the metal,” “To the car! We drive like the wind!” I was laughing like mad.
Gena Showalters also wrote very accurately about the difficulties of raising moody and hormonal teenagers. I have one home so when Gena writes “Sweet Lord in heaven. Knife fighting with a serial killer would have been easier than arguing with a teenage girl.” I feel some kinship.
Last but not least: Daniel was your hot Alpha with a twist as he was trapped at his own game of keeping a relationship with Dorothea under wrap and I loved how she gave him a run for his money. He had to chase her, put his head out of his “behind” and do some serious groveling if he wanted to win the Lady.
So it has begun with the heroine grating on my nerves and ended with a reader completely smitten with this extraordinary heroine. This story is an ode to self-esteem, growing your confidence accepting your curves and realizing you’re a pearl to be treasured whatever your weight, diploma, background. It’s as good to begin your day as listening to “I Will Survive”. A blender of optimism and energy!
Teaser, buy links, author’s bio etc. in my other post of the day!