4.5 stars. In short, it’s a fun laugh-out-loud steamy contemporary romance set in the backwoods of New Hampshire (complete with mosquitoes, ATVs, bath houses, and marshmallow roasts.) This is an author to watch as her humor is sharp, the sexual tension tight, the romance believable, and the characters all well developed.
The premise: High school sweethearts Joe and Keri went separate ways when Keri chose to move out west to attend Berkeley and make a name for herself. It was the toughest decision she has made in her life. 18 years later, Keri is now a top contributing author to a popular celebrity magazine out in Los Angeles, and Joe is a NYT bestselling author of scary twisted novels that are being turned into movies. Keri’s boss discovers that she had a past with Joe, and sets her up to get an exclusive scoop by sending her back to NH where Joe still calls home. Joe never forgot how badly Keri broke his heart, but the moment he sees her again he knows he doesn’t want to say goodbye again – at least not right away. So he cooks up a plan to have Keri go on a large family camping vacation with him for two weeks in exchange for one interview question per day.
What I enjoyed most about this book was how ‘real’ the story felt. The dialog, the pacing, the interaction between characters all felt so genuine. Plus the humor and whit was just a crack up!! Joe is a fantastic hero, and Keri was a great match.
While the main story between Joe and Keri kept me fully engaged and entertained, I’m knocking half a star off because I really didn’t enjoy the secondary storyline that much. It’s about Joe’s sister Terry resolving her marriage issues after 13 years of marriage. If I met Terry in real life I don’t think I’d want to be her friend, but I will give this author kudo’s for making her so three dimensional with flaws and all. Fortunately, that storyline is very small in this book and can be skimmed over easily.
My husband and I love to go camping every summer, so it was a great treat to see a romance set around fire pits and RV’s, instead of mansions and penthouses. The author has another book coming out in the fall, and I sure hope it stars Joe’s brother Kevin. I loved that guy and hopes he gets an HEA too. Definitely an author to watch.