Series: Beach House No. 9, #2
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Published by Harlequin HQN on February 26, 2013
Source: Author, NetGalley
Also in this series: The Love Shack, Beach House No. 9
Purchase Links: Amazon ✦ Barnes & Noble
Book Links: Goodreads
Return to USA TODAY bestselling author Christie Ridgway’s Crescent Cove, California, where the magic of summer can last forever... Combat medic Vance Smith made a promise to a fallen officer: to treat the man’s young daughter to an idyllic vacation at Beach House No. 9. One month, some sun and surf, a “helmet list” of activities to check off and Vance will move on. But the “little girl” he’s expecting turns out to be a full-grown woman. With silky hair, big brown eyes and smelling sweetly of the cupcakes she makes for her mobile bakery, Layla Parker is irresistible. And Vance shouldn't lay a finger on her. Honor - and one heck of a scarred heart -- says so.
To Layla, Vance is a hero who was injured trying to save her father’s life. She intends to spend their month of lazy days and warm nights taking very good care of the gorgeous soldier -- inside and out.
One thing that I love about Christie Ridgway and this series is that you get two love stories for the price of one! In the first book of this series, you met Jane & Griffin, but you also met Griffin’s sister and her husband, who were getting through a rough patch in their marriage. In this book you get Vance & Layla, as well as Vance’s cousin Baxter and his love story with Addison “Addy” March. The second couple had a hot steamy night about 6 years before the happening of this book, and while Addy is determined to forget it ever happened, Baxter wants to apologize, and that eventually turns into more steamy nights.
Returning to the two main characters of this book, Vance is a sweetheart, though he would never admit to being one. He shows up to the meeting of the little girl with his cousin there as moral support and Addy as a nanny so he’s not left alone with a little girl all the time, and nothing would be inappropriate… and he shows up with a teddy bear, and both wrists in casts. I wanted to hug him.
He’s also … not necessarily estranged from his family, but not very close to them either. His brother, “Fucking Perfect Fitz” is, well, just too perfect. And Baxter isn’t a slouch either. Vance is the black sheep of the family, and tries to stay away as much as he can. But with Layla in his life, and his cousin and brother determined not to give up on him, he returns to the fold. Yes, there are some issues there, but Layla reminds him that family is important, no matter what has happened in the past. And as Vance deals with FB Fitz, Layla continuously stands with him and up for him, which makes Vance (and the reader) fall in love with her.
Layla is a fantastic character as well, and as is seen in Ridgway’s other books, well-rounded and intriguing. I honestly do love her writing style and the way she brings all of her characters to life. This is a great book with more than one love story in it, some pretty hot sex, and, BONUS, recipes in the back for some pretty fanTAStic sounding cupcakes AND the matched frosting!! So double score on that one… I’m going to try them out! Read the books. I need to go read book #3.