Head Over Heels
Going back to one’s hometown, particularly if you’ve been living a completely different type of life, can be rough. I can relate. Thankfully, unlike the heroine in Head Over Heels, I didn’t have to deal with my sister’s murder or have to become the parent to her child. If you’re a fan of Susan Andersen’s recent releases – her style, the somewhat salty writing, and fabulous sexual tension – you’ll probably get this book as soon as it hits the stores. This is an enjoyable read, although not the author’s best work.
Veronica Davis sees her past demons come to life when she returns to the town of Fossil and enters the Baker Street Honky Tonk, the bar that once belonged to her father. Veronica takes a job waitressing there, which is the one thing she swore she’d never do again. But then Veronica never thought she’d learn that her sister Crystal had been murdered, apparently by Eddie, the father of Crystal’s daughter Lizzie. Along with the unwelcome job, the bar’s new bartender/manager, with bleached blond hair and cocky attitude, is really getting on Veronica’s nerves. Coop has already sized Veronica up and decided he knows just what kind of woman she is (if Crystal is anything to go by) and he is rattled by the attraction he feels for the “princess.”
Despite what he thinks he knows about her, Coop can’t deny that he likes Veronica, and as he gets to know her better he realizes that she is miles away from the faux-glitz-gilded Crystal. Veronica is the real thing, and a woman who is a good parental presence for her motherless niece. While he manages the bar, Coop is looking for answers regarding Crystal’s murder and Eddie’s whereabouts, for strong reasons of his own, which he refuses to share with anyone. As for Veronica, she struggles to clean up the bar and Crystal’s house, and bring some semblance of normalcy and routine to Lizzy’s life even though she knows that the little girl is due to endure more changes soon.
Head Over Heels drags a little through the middle and the relationship between Veronica and Coop is not completely satisfying. He keeps first one, then another secret from her then throws in a marriage proposal way too early considering their relationship. On the other hand, I liked Veronica, and empathized with her struggle to deal with so much at once: her sister’s death, having to care for Lizzy, and dealing with her growing relationship with the man who refuses to reveal several key pieces of his life to her. The secondary characters are just delightful, especially Veronica’s niece Lizzy and her friend Marissa, and there is a secondary romance that is nicely developed without taking time away from the main thread of the book.
Head Over Heels is to be the first in a trilogy starring former Marine buddies, and although Coop’s story was no keeper, I enjoyed it well enough and am looking forward to reading about his friends in the next two books.