Series: Beach House No. 9 #1
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Published by Harlequin HQN on January 29, 2013
Source: NetGalley, Publisher
Also in this series: The Love Shack, Bungalow Nights
Purchase Links: Amazon ✦ Barnes & Noble
Book Links: Goodreads
When book doctor Jane Pearson arrives at Griffin Lowell's beach house, she expects a brooding loner. After all, his agent hired her to help the reclusive war journalist write his stalled memoir. Instead, Jane finds a tanned, ocean-blue-eyed man in a Hawaiian shirt, hosurrounded by beauties. Faster than he can untie a bikini top, Griffin lets Jane know he doesn't want her. But she desperately needs this job and digs her toes in the sand.
Griffin intends to spend the coming weeks at Beach House No. 9 taking refuge from his painful memories-and from the primly sexy book doctor who wants to bare his soul. But warm nights, moonlit walks and sultry kisses just may unlock both their guarded hearts....
Smoldering Book Quote:
He slid the last piece of her clothing free, and she watched him tuck the little ball of fabric in his bedside table drawer. “You only get them back if you let me give you your climax. Take it yourself, and I take the underwear.”
Panty ransom? She would have laughed, but he was giving her a burning, smoldering serious look. So she stifled her little nervous giggle. “Okay.”
He stacked a couple of pillows against the wood-slat headboard. Next, he pushed her up against them, propping her up there. “It’ll give you a good view,” he said.
To say that I liked this book would be a massive understatement. Christie Ridgeway brings to life real characters with many layers and stories all at the same time. While Jane and Griffin are the two main focus characters in this book, you also get other richly written people as well — and that’s what they become to you. Not just characters, but fully formed people. I rarely find a book that makes me cry (or, in this case, come very close to it). But when that happens, I know it’s good because it has reached into me and pulled something out that I rarely let out on my own, much less in public.
Griffin was a war correspondent who is suffering from major emotional withdrawal and PTSD. While soldiers bear the brunt of it, there are obviously others involved in wars that carry the same weight of what happens there back with them — journalists, doctors and medics, volunteers, etc. Seeing what they see, feeling what they feel — the entire gamut of emotional trauma that is felt… You feel in this book. And this counts for the good times as well. I find myself wishing that I could read Griffin’s memoir because the stories that are told as he finds ways to tell Jane, are so rich and vivid that you know it would be an engrossing read.
Personally, I have only ever reenacted war (the Civil War, to be exact) but after the reenactment ends, looking out at all those who have “fallen” can really get to you, knowing that it actually happened and that you can be out there, just fine one moment, and the next your best friend is dead beside you. And it’s an almost indescribable feeling — but you feel Griffin’s memories, distant though he tries to keep them, you feel a faint echo in your heart, and it gives you the chills.
Getting back to the story at hand, Jane suffers from severe low self-esteem, but knows her worth in terms of her talent and abilities — things that have been pounded into her head since she was a child by her distant father, and later, by her just-as-distant brothers. You want to punch them.
But between Griffin, his sister, Tessa and their mutual friend (and key-keeper for the Crescent Cove Cottages), Skye, she develops friendships that she’s never before experienced. I enjoyed one particular moment (and highlighted it in my Kindle to remember it) in which Jane confesses to the other women how Griffin claims that the white center of an Oreo cookie is the best part and how she thinks that’s absurd — and the other women just nod their agreement, in a perfectly female moment of understanding.
Another is a moment where Griffin and his old neighbor, “Old Man Monroe” (a war journalist during World War II), are trying to one-up each other on how bad life was when they were overseas during the wars, in half-hearted jibes, when Jane comes out.
“Pardon me for interrupting this illuminating pissing contest.” Seriously.. I love it.
This book is filled with so many moments like that, little snippets of real life and humanity and fun and emotion and sadness… they all coalesce to form a fantastic book that honestly think you should just save yourself the trouble and go buy it now.
Read it. Love it like I do. Because it’s quite literally fantastic. Five out of Five, and I can’t wait to read the next few in this series! Ohh! And REALLY steamy love scenes too… Hoo boy!