One Sultry Summer, by Laura Leone

>> Thursday, June 24, 2004

Laura Leone's old categories are among my favourites, and I have a few of them in my TBR. The latest one I read was One Sultry Summer.

A feisty young woman has only one summer to convince her reluctant new partner that her pet boarding kennel can be successful.
It's got some nice touches, but even so, I can't give it more than a C+, though some things were good enough that I wish I could.

From what I see in the author's website, One Sultry Summer was her first published romance novel, and I'm afraid it shows. I prize her books because she always has fascinating backgrounds, because she avoids contrived setups and because she always has characters who are grown-ups and who actually talk about things.

This book does well on the first front, setting the action at a kennel. This was really fun. On the second aspect, contrived setups, well, she has the heroine, Vicky, and hero, Race, each inheriting half of a business. Each has different plans for it, and they agree that if after that summer, if Vicky hasn't managed to make the kennel pay its own way, Race will be free to build on the land. So, they must spend the summer both on the estate. This isn't ridiculously contrived, not at all, but it's been done to death. What saves it is the way Vicky and Race deal with the situation, at least at first.

And here we go into the third aspect, the characters who are mature adults and reasonably always talk things through. That's what they are at first, dealing very well with the terms of the will, agreeing on a course of action that is obviously fair. Also at first, I liked how their increasing attraction was done.

But then, things start going downhill, with Vicky coming across as increasingly shrill. One minute she throws herself on Race and the next she pushes him away. And then come the big misunderstandings and stupid assumptions. She receives a phone call for Race from a woman so obviously, she's his girlfriend, and the guy's just toying with her. She finds Race's drawings of possible houses to build at the site and goes nuts because he's going to destroy her dream (I didn't completely understand this one, actually. She has made a deal, surely the guy has a right to make plans for what he might do if he wins?).

And then, near the end of the book, there's an extraneous plot that crops up, involving the family of the guy who left Race and Vicky the estate. A newspaper has broke the story that this guy has left this property to his illegitimate son (Race) and to a woman they suppose was his mistress, so they make this big scandal, so now the family want to contest the will. What drove me crazy wasn't the actions of the family, but the way we're expected to believe that this is such a HUGE news story, big enough that journalists are now staked out in front of the house. Please!

So, there were things I liked, especially at first, but the last part was simply a chore to read. I could see the promise of good books to come here, but this one wasn't good.


Post a Comment

Blog template by

Back to TOP