One summer, two sisters and a chance to start over…
Before the burglary that shattered her confidence, Phoenix Rose had a fiancé, a successful store and a busy, happy existence. After months spent adrift, she takes a job at the lakeside resort of Cooper’s Charm. Surrounded by beautiful scenery, friendly colleagues and a charismatic, widowed boss, Phoenix is slowly inching her way back into the world.
Visiting Cooper’s Charm to check up on her little sister, Ridley Rose impulsively agrees to fill in as housekeeper. Still reeling from an ego-bruising divorce, she finds satisfaction in a job well done—and in the attention of the resort’s handsome scuba instructor.
For Phoenix and Ridley, Cooper’s Charm is supposed to be merely temporary. But this detour may lead to the place they most need to be, where the future is as satisfying as it is surprising…
My review: 3.5*
I was ‘sold’ this story on the basis of there being a dog in it – and, of course, Sugar is a scene-stealer par excellence. However, the crux of the story is about two sisters – Phoenix and Ridley – who are both in need of a little sisterly love following a) an attack upon Phoenix by persons unknown that leaves her feeling vulnerable and b) Ridley’s recent divorce.
Phoenix hightails it to Cooper’s Charm for a job interview. From the outset, Cooper, the owner of the RV resort, is impressed by her, hiring her on the spot. By the way, if there is a real resort like this anywhere, I want to go there.
There is chemistry brewing between the two of them, and finding a puppy in the throes of a beating by some local thugs is the glue that comes to bind them.
But then there are some odd incidents that bring a touch of mystery to the story. Starting with muddy footprints around the door to Phoenix’s new home, a broken light bulb, and escalating to much worse – it seems someone is intent on harming her. In the meantime, Ridley comes to stay – and not just for a few days. Having never done such a physically exhausting job before, she takes to the role of housekeeper like a duck to water. Weird that, I thought. Luckily for her, there are other attractions to keep her at the resort, even if it means working long hours – after all, who needs sleep? Not Ridley, since she’s pretty happy to stay up all night with Baxter, the scuba diver at the resort.
Yet the incidents keep on coming, getting increasingly dangerous and putting Phoenix at great risk. There are a few suspects, all of whom seem much more believable to me than the actual culprit when he finally is revealed. (Without revealing who the culprit is, let me give you an analogy – the person wishing Phoenix harm is an apple seller, who suddenly seems to prefer oranges. Yeah, cryptic I know – I’ll explain at the very end with a warning for readers who don’t want to know.)
I enjoyed the interaction between Phoenix and Ridley, and appreciated the slow-burning romance between Phoenix and Cooper – not so slow-burning for Ridley and Baxter, though 😉 Maybe if the story had focused on just one sister’s romance, it might have been a stronger read. This is the first book I’ve read by this author. I found the style a little difficult to follow at times, a lot of head-hopping between characters and some characters who didn’t seem fully fleshed out (Baxter, for instance, appeared to have some ‘issues’ with commitment, but those vanished fairly quickly with no mention of how or why.)
Sugar, the beagle, remains my favourite ‘character still, and Cooper’s Charm seems an idyllic resort. Overall, this was an entertaining read, perfect for the beach and an enjoyable summer read.
Publisher: Harlequin Books
On-sale date: July 31, 2018
Format: Trade Paperback
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About the author:
Lori Foster is a New York Times, USA Today, and Publisher’s Weekly bestselling author.
She has received the Romantic Times “Career Achievement Award” for Series Romantic Fantasy and for Contemporary Romance;
Amazon’s top-selling romance title for Too Much Temptation;
Amazon’s Top Ten editors’ picks in romance for Causing Havoc;
Waldenbooks’ second “Bestselling Original Contemporary” romance for Say No To Joe;
BGI group’s “Bestselling Original Contemporary” romance for the The Secret Life of Bryan, “Bestselling Romantic Comedy” for Jude’s Law, and “Bestselling Romantic Suspense” for Back in Black;
Plus Amazon’s #1 Editors’ Pick in Romance for Servant: The Acceptance.
Lori has been featured as a clue in the New York Times crossword puzzle, and the USA Today “Quick Cross” puzzle.
To give back to the community, Lori does an annual “benefit” book where all advance and royalties go to a charity: http://lorifoster.com/benefit-books/
She also hosts the annual “Reader & Author Get Together,” facilitating major interaction between readers, authors, and industry professionals while also donating all proceeds from raffles to local charities. http://readerauthorgettogether.com/
You can find out more about Lori’s books at her website
Listen to her books on Audible.
Lori enjoys visiting with readers. Find her at her various social media sites.
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YouTube video channel
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So, if you want to understand my apples & oranges analogy, read on … otherwise
The culprit is …. ??? (of course, I’m not going to actually name him)
But, why would a robber be so obsessed with chasing up on someone who got away? Who hadn’t seen him? Who couldn’t identify him? Especially when his previous offences were all robberies, not murder?
See – apple seller = robber, oranges = murder.
My analogy makes sense now, doesn’t it? Doesn’t it?
Thanks for reading 😉