Out of work and in a bad place personally, she is feeling awfully low. But then she’s handed an unexpected opportunity.
She, along with her sisters, is given Bishop’s Cove, a small luxurious oceanfront resort. They must run the resort for one year and show a profit–only then will they own it.
There are countless hindrances to them succeeding. On top of it all she is facing threats from her former employer. When the threats become dangerous, Peyton calls on her childhood friend, Finn MacBain, now with the FBI, and asks for help. He’s come to her rescue before; maybe he can do it again.
Finn excels at everything he tries, but when his relationship with Peyton turns into something he hadn’t expected, he realizes he’s facing the challenge of his life.
Now is a good time to reveal one of my deep dark reading secrets: before this, I had never read Julie Garwood. Lots of my romance-reading friends have read and waxed lyrical about her, but I haven’t picked her up before now.
Hotshot will definitely not be the last Garwood title that I read. This was a steamy and suspenseful story with plenty of twists and turns to hold your attention.
Peyton Lockhart and Finn MacBain have known each other since childhood – when the Lockharts moved into the house next to the McBains. Finn saves Peyton from drowning not long afterwards, and the lifelong connection between the two begins.
All these years later, Peyton has found herself in the middle of a sh-tstorm. She had packed up her life to move to Dalton, Minnesota to take up a dream role as a restaurant critic. However her manager, Drew (the son-in-law of the publisher) turns out to be a nasty piece of work. When his sleazy ways and persistent sexual harassment begin to turn violent, but no one seems willing to deal with the problem….except for Peyton. She draws a confession from Drew and records it, before fleeing home to Texas. When Drew discovers this, he flies into a rage and sends one of his thugs after her.
A meeting at his brother’s wedding bring Peyton and Finn, now an FBI agent, back together. The connection between the two begins to bubble over into something more than it was. When Finn discovers what has happened to Peyton, he flies into protective mode.
A stroke of luck appears in the form of Len, Peyton’s uncle. A wealthy hotelier, he has gifted a Florida property to the Lockhart sisters on the proviso that they can turn a 20% profit within 12 months. It is here where much of the story is set. Danger lurks around every corner, from hired goons, rival developers and crazy family.
These two are seriously hot for each other. Their chemistry is incredible. One of my favourite things about Peyton and Finn as a couple is their relationship outside of the sexytimes – you can imagine these two as friends as well as lovers.
One thing that got to me a little about this book was that Peyton didn’t always seem to fully grasp how dangerous a situation she was involved in. Sometimes it appeared to me that she wasn’t taking everything as seriously as she needed to.
I did like the secondary characters in Hotshot, particularly the hotel manager Christopher. It would have been nice to see a little more of the development of the relationship between him and Lucy, Peyton’s sister. I could have done with a little less on the crazy cousin Debi. Yes, her role in the progression of the story is important but not so much that she warranted that much page space. It was a little detail-heavy, but if this is the first in a series (as I believe it to be), this makes sense.
Hotshot is a really good story, and I very much enjoyed this introduction to the world of Julie Garwood. So if any of you have a Garwood recommendation for me, send it on through.
My rating: 4 out of 5
Release date: 6 August 2013
Note: I was provided with an advanced reader copy of this book by Penguin Group via NetGalley in return for an honest review.