The book is a little slow on the takeoff with the filling in of the backstory. The writing style of the author reminds me of John Steinbeck. He could write about nothing forever. I have read other works by Ms. Ferrarella and have not found this the case in those instances. In the Harlequin Heartwarming category, Ms. Ferrarella is trying to instill strong family values in the story line and she keeps repeating the obvious, which gets old fast.
Wyatt is at the inn all summer and he never courts Alex, which would have make the story more believable. There is no interaction at all between them, other than griping and bickering that goes on way too long. They are either sniping at each other in the present or reminiscing about it in the past. Alex is one of four innkeeper’s daughters. She is the oldest and very protective of the family and the inn that has been their home for generations. She has always resented Wyatt for being the son her father always wanted. Not only did she have to put up with his presence for a month every summer as a child, now she is stuck with him for the whole summer while he fulfills a promise to his deceased father.
That promise is Wyatt would finish the book his father started on the inn, where he and his dad spent a month every summer together. It belongs to his father’s closest and longtime friend. After laying his father to rest in the inn’s family cemetery, he stays on to gather information for writing the book. During this time he interviews the guests and the family of the inn, but none of these interactions are in the story. Only that it took place and he was pleased with the valuable information. Before the funeral, he absentmindedly brushes his lips across Alex’s, but this is never built on in the storyline. At one point he rips his shirt off to show Alex his muscles, which only makes him seem egotistical and totally out of character, since it is out of place. If it had more to do with their interactions and if they had feelings for each other, it may have had a different effect on the story.
Alex, aka ‘little miss control freak,’ never endears herself to me and neither does Wyatt, the dashing writer who never displays any charming tactics, even though it is stated that he is good at displaying them.
This book has lots of potential with the other family members that could have provided interaction, not to mention the guests of the inn. I kept hoping for more, but it just never came. I finished the book after falling asleep a couple of times. The characters never grabbed hold and formed a relationship with me, so I would want to keep reading. I continued to read because I promised to review the book, not because I enjoyed reading about what is transpiring between Wyatt and Alex. I could not even drum up sympathy for the loss of his father, and that is really unusual for me. It must have been that everything is stated and not felt.
A sequel is set up for Chris, one of the other daughters, but not much is touched on and it could have put more backbone to the story. Chris sounds like she has more zest for life in her than Alex portrays. We can only hope so. Whether or not I bother to find out is yet to be determined.
Although I am disappointed in this book, I still hold Marie Ferrarella is high esteem. I have read several of her other books in different categories and enjoyed them very much. I found the Cavanaugh Justice series very entertaining.
Screenwriter Wyatt Taylor can’t let his dying father’s work on a book about century-old Ladera Inn by the Sea come to naught, even if fulfilling that promise means going toe-to-toe with the innkeeper’s spitfire daughter. His history with Alexandra Roman dates back to a competitive childhood rivalry, so he expects more of the same animosity. He must really be grieving to be caught off guard by Alex’s beauty and compassion.
For Alex’s part, working with Wyatt is unfamiliar territory. The sooner she helps him realize his father’s dream the sooner he’ll be on his way and she can get back to caring for her family. Yet all it takes is one unexpected kiss to teach her that sometimes change can be for the better. Much better.
No excerpt available.