Saturday, November 1, 2014

Must Loathe Norcross by Summer Devon

Title: Must Loathe Norcross
Author: Summer Devon
Purchase at Samhain
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                 Preorder until November 25, 2014
Cover Artist: Kanaxa
Genre: Contemorary
Length: approx  180 pages
Formats: epub, mobi, pdf

When it comes to love, there’s no such thing as traveling light.
Born wealthy and ambitious, Grady once worked hard and played hard—so hard, it brought him to the brink of ruin. Now, after a five-year retreat into the contemplative life, he’s dipping a toe back into the real world.

Assigned to write a series of articles about a Connecticut valley’s small towns, Grady checks into a local hotel. And meets a bellhop who seems determined to show him around…and maybe indulge in a more intimate tour later on.

When Josh’s boss half-jokingly suggests he get on a first-name basis with the writer who could make or break their town’s reputation, Josh jumps at the chance. He dreams of seeing the world, but the man he thought might be his ticket out turns out to be less influential—and more attractive—than he expected.

Together they uncover a strange plot to detour Norcross’s tourist dollars, a plot that leaves Grady bruised and angry. Now they’ll have to decide how far they’ll go to save the town…and how far they’ll fall for each other.

Warning: Steaming-hot room service, delivered by a cute bellboy in uniform. Stolen towels will not be tolerated, but stolen hearts? Help yourself!
It should have been simple: Grady was supposed to come into the old mill town that would rather remake itself than fade away, write up the few attractions, and amble on to the next would-be vacation spot. Josh should have been content with an evening or two with a cute stranger, and leave him happy enough to write something positive. But neither man is exactly who he appears to be, and their secrets end up dovetailing in the oddest way.

The crossed purposes and the ulterior motives come fast and furious. Everyone from Grady’s travel-writer cousin to the guys in the bar have agendas. Sorting out what issue belongs to whom keeps the guys off-balance, even after identities have been cross-checked. They are cute together, once they finally get the larger issues Josh is desperately concerned with, where Grady’s sense of fairness and some long unused skills can help.

The external plot of why the town of Norcross requires loathing wraps around the couple. Both of them find some wholeness in themselves, a nice touch, and are better able to be together.

The relationship has something of a missing middle. While the end is cute and full of happiness, it skips so far ahead in time that anything beyond the hopeful beginning is lost. The story reads very short because of this, and while the epilogue is cute, it also glosses over some of the more interesting elements. A HFN is really okay, and was what the story supported.

As we expect from this author, the writing is fluid, the characters vivid, and they occasionally embarrass themselves. It’s a charming read. However, it’s either missing some middle or has too much end. 4 marbles

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