Paperback, 448 pages
Published August 28th 2012
by Harlequin MIRA
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Simon O'Neal's causing trouble again. And it's up to Gail DeMarco to stop him.
Gail DeMarco left Whiskey Creek, California, to make a name for herself in Los Angeles. Her PR firm has accumulated a roster of A-list clients, including the biggest box office hit of all—sexy and unpredictable Simon O'Neal. But Simon, who's just been through a turbulent divorce, is so busy self-destructing he won't listen to anything she says. She drops him from her list—and he retaliates by taking the rest of her clients with him.
Desperate to save her company, Gail has to humble herself by making a deal with Simon. The one thing he wants is custody of his son, but that's going to require a whole new image. He needs to marry some squeaky-clean girl who'll drag him off to some small, obscure place like Whiskey Creek….
Gail's the only one he can trust. She agrees to become his wife—reluctantly. But she isn't reluctant because he's too hard to like. It's because he's too hard not to love!
This book came to my attention a few months back, and I have to say, I thoroughly enjoyed this. The cover led me to believe this would be a sweet, even cute romance novel, but what I got was really great plot and some characters that are troubled and have to deal with some tough circumstances.
Character in question? Simon. I expected him to be some spoiled brat, but instead this is a man who is dealing with the demon of disillusionment thanks to his ex-wife, a custody battle, and media attention. And for the media in this story, the worse the scoop, the better the story. All of this is breaking Simon down and causing him to lash out in ways that are harmful to himself.
Gail gets caught in the crossfire of all of this. Mind you, she's not totally innocent. Her big mouth got her into trouble, and the way to save both her butt and Simon's is to pull off a happily ever after that the media will eat up and that give Simon back some credibility as a human being and parent. It's a crazy plan, but it works. The only trouble is, both Simon and Gail fall in love with each other, which was not as planned. But then, life isn't planned.
I loved how real to this life this story was. I loved how Simon had to really re-discover himself and start being true to that person. It just really made me think about the things in life that matter--love, family, while pointing out that life is about more than the trappings we sometimes we caught up, like work or own insecurities and doubts.
The layers to these characters really impressed me as did the careful plotting. From beginning to end, this was lovely reading and I'm looking forward to more of Whiskey Creek. I have no idea who the next book will be about (a lot of series hint at whose book is upcoming) but I couldn't guess in this one, and I have to say, the element of surprise is a pleasant touch. I'll be reading that book, When Snow Falls before the year is out.