Creative sparks ignite where you least expect to find them.
Despite her dedication to her art, Laurel Patton feels her parents’ disappointment hanging over her like a cloud. Just the thought of being a lawyer like her father—or worse, a lawyer’s socialite wife—is enough to make her break out in hives.
Finally, a feather in her cap: an invitation to a prestigious summer artist-in-residence retreat in Colorado’s Rocky Mountains. Three whole months among a community of creative people? Bliss.
After his ex-wife’s death, bestselling horror novelist Neil Graves will move heaven and earth to make his grieving daughter, Violet, happy. Even if it means moving a mountain of deadlines to the heavenly enclave—the only thing Violet’s been excited about for a long time.
He never expected Laurel would be the breath of fresh air he didn’t realize he needed. But much as Laurel loves Neil and Violet, she’s terrified. Because Neil’s workaholic ways are too much like the life she never wanted…even if Neil is the one man she wants for all time.
Warning: A lighthearted artist and a too-serious single dad. A naughty, no-strings affair. Creative, multi-media use of sexual positions, including walls, counters, even trees.
Source: ARC from Samhain Publishing via NetGalley
This is another enjoyable addition to this series, pitting a free spirit against a workaholic and throwing in a smart teenager to keep things interesting. It’s an easy, enjoyable read with loads of heat and a touch of deeper emotions too, dealing with grief and inadequacy. I really liked it.
However, because the story itself takes place over an entire summer, there are a few big time jumps. I also felt that certain aspects of the plot – Laurel’s mentee – were ignored or glossed over completely.
Which is a shame, because when this book is given time to settle down it’s really good. Laurel is a fun heroine, living her life the way she wants to and making friends wherever she goes. I loved her relationship with Violet and how she so easily fit into Neil’s life. She’s a nice woman with a few inadequacy issues, but I liked that she rarely let any of that get her down. She knew what she wanted and wasn’t afraid of finding ways to make it work.
I liked Neil too, even if he is a touch too successful for his own good. He’s also a great father to Violet and I liked how easily he accepted Laurel in all her bright shades. The chemistry between the pair of them is pretty hot too, which helps, but I liked that there was clearly so much more to their relationship than sex. Even if he did go all cowardly towards the end.
Because of its short length, however, I don’t think this book had a real chance to make the most of the retreat setting or the other characters that cropped up – not least grumpy Grace or Neil’s great mentee. However, if you’re looking for a read with lots of heat, a little bit of emotional exploration, a sweet romance and a lovely ready-made family, then this delivers all of that. I might have wished for fewer gaps, but it’s still a fun, quick read. I really must catch up with the rest of the series some time.
Rockies Retreat is out September 29th!
Visit Crystal Jordan for more details.