Tuesday, July 21, 2015

HOT SHOT by Julie Garwood

Publisher:    Dutton
Published:   August 26, 2013
ISBN:     978-0525953012
Genre:    Contemporary Romance
Format:  Print    
Obtained via:  Publisher
Reviewed by name and email address:  Gina Gina@loveromancesandmorereviews.com


Peyton Lockhart skirted death as a little girl thanks to her neighbour, Finn MacBain.  While he popped up in her life several times as she was growing up, Finn had his own plans and agenda.  First he went off to win not one but three Olympic gold medals, graduated law school and finally signing on with the FBI. 

Each year on her birthday Peyton sends him a card or email or text thanking him for saving her life.  After all, she wouldn’t be having those birthdays if he had not jumped in her family pool and performed CPR saving her life.  Aside from those yearly messages Finn barely gives the little girl from next door another thought.  That is, until, her life takes a rather frightening turn.

Peyton hasn’t made the best choices in men…career yes, but men, not so much.  When she is offered a job, pretty much sight unseen, as a food critic, she heads off to Dalton to take the job.  Once she arrives the women aren’t exactly friendly, the men ogle her a bit and her boss…well he’s a walking, talking sexual harassment claim.  And not the kind who will take no for an answer.  Peyton flees Dalton and heads home where things take a turn for the better…or so it seems.  Her uncle has a deal for her and her two sisters—a year to turn his failing Florida resort around.  Before she can dig in several things happen that put her rather quickly in danger’s way.  When trouble starts it is her childhood hero, Finn, who swims to the rescue. But is a childhood hero really the man of her dreams?

The last few books in Julie Garwood’s Buchanan FBI series have become flatter and flatter.  I love Garwood’s books—SHADOW MUSIC, one of her historical romances, is one of my all time favorite romances.  With SWEET TALK though, something seems to have shifted and not in a good way.  HOT SHOT left me pretty cold.  Most of the story is a third person narrative of “Peyton did this”, “Peyton did that.”  I had to keep pushing myself to keep reading and found myself hanging on to the points where there was dialogue.  There, and only there, did I read the vintage Garwood I so enjoy.  She has such a great way with words—at time I’ve imagined sitting down to a coffee with her just to hear these gems from this favorite author of mine.  But the dialogue filled scenes were just too few and far between in HOT SHOT. 

And the series seems to have become formulaic…three women:  one spunky smart, one sweet, one ditzy.  Sometimes they’re sisters, sometimes they’re friends, but the pattern is there.  Except for the need for a tie-breaking vote there really wasn’t any need for the third sister, Ivy, in HOT SHOT. 

The plot twists around the resort were well done.  And Debi…she’s one of those characters you just look forward to the next scene because you just love to hate her.  Every time she came along I wanted to smack her – not in a “boy is she stupid TSTL way” but in a “man, I want to set that chick straight” way. 

True Garwood fans will enjoy HOT SHOT simply because it is Garwood; if you are new to this author, read one of the earlier books in this series first because it really isn’t a good example of what a fabulous writer she truly is.

This is an objective review and an endorsement of this book.

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