Title: On the Rocks
Author: Kim Law
Series: Turtle Island #3
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Available: Jan 12th
Sassy tomboy Ginger Atkinson would rather be captaining a deep-sea fishing boat than baking pies, yet she still wishes she had a man to bake for. Sure, the pretty redhead is happy running her late father’s Turtle Island ferry business, but everyone in the world is finding love except her. Stuck on the wrong side of thirty, she’s trying to accept singlehood by building a dream home—for one.
In high school, Carter Ridley loved to sneak off with his good friend Ginger to watch the sun rise over the ocean. But after graduation, his path took a different route. One that, unlike Ginger’s, did get him the spouse and house of his dreams. At least, until a scandal shattered everything.
Running from his heartbreak, Carter returns to Turtle Island, where he discovers that Ginger is all grown up. His teenage friend has become the woman he’s always wanted. But will Carter’s pain scare him away from a chance at happiness? Or can he be the loving partner Ginger’s been looking for?
Source: ARC from Montlake Romance via NetGalley
I really enjoyed this book, with its cheerful, tomboy heroine and grumpy, secretive author hero. It’s sweet and fun with the right touch of heat, romance and heartache, all wrapped up with some beautiful sunsets and a perfect-sounding house.
Ginger is great. She’s a woman who had all her life plans upended when her father died, but discovered that actually she really loves running the boat business – even if she does end up smelling of fish more days than not. She’s upbeat and friendly, with a few unique quirks – like reading at night without pants on (or shorts/jeans/trousers for the non-Americans like me).
However, she’s also a bit of a traditional romantic and wants the whole perfect husband, kids, house thing, especially now that her best friends have found it and moved away from the island. Even her mother’s found it, leaving Ginger feeling as though something is wrong with her. So she dates, quite a lot, and on every date pretty much changes everything about herself because she thinks she should be girly and flirty and completely not like her normal self. This side of Ginger made me sad, even though I could see why she did it. However, I absolutely loved that one of the main messages of the book was – be yourself. When Ginger is herself she’s far more relaxed and attractive and successful, and I appreciated that.
Carter seems to appreciate it too. When he returns to the island he is not in a happy place. His recent divorce definitely did a number on him and he’s grouchy, depressed and unable to write. He doesn’t want to be on the island and doesn’t plan to stay long. Until he meets up with his childhood best friend, Ginger, again anyway, and things slowly start to change.
I loved their relationship, how it slowly grew out of their remembered childhood into their current problems and deepened from there. They have plenty of chemistry too, of course, but their romance is so much more than attraction. Carter needs help and patience and understanding, all of which Ginger gives without even thinking about it, while for her Carter offers support and acceptance of the person she is, rather than the woman she thinks she needs to be. They’re wonderful together, even if they’re both pretty blind to what’s really going on.
Away from each other this book also has friends and family standing by to offer support and embarrassment as needed, while the hunky builders also provide flirty moments for Ginger and jealous ones for Carter. It’s all fun and enjoyable, with occasional emotional roadblocks. I’ll admit I hated the way Carter left things with his ex-wife (*spoiler! Highlight to read* I’d have rather burnt the house down than let her have it. **), but overall I liked it a lot.
If you’re looking for an easy, enjoyable romance with a good set of characters, some beautiful sunsets and a strong friends to lovers plot, then this certainly delivers.
On the Rocks is out January 12th!
Visit Kim Law for more details.