Like a Hurricane
Like A Hurricane is a book that doesn’t really start out well, but cultivates a lighthearted charm as it goes along. On page one, our hero is snooping through a dilapidated old beachside hotel called the Mar Brisas Resort, when he spies the heroine’s legs dangling from an elevator shaft. Instant desire overwhelms him, and the exchange that follows (after he rescues her from the elevator shaft) is loaded with annoying lust-think on the parts of both protagonists. Then he calls the hotel a dump, and she gets mad and leaves.
The hero’s name is Quinn McGrath, and he works for a development company that plans to buy the resort on Florida’s beautiful Gulf coast, bulldoze it, and build a big ice-cube-tray hotel. It seems that the Mar Brisas was damaged in a hurricane, and Quinn can tell that the owner, Nick Whitaker, hasn’t spent a dime of his insurance money on repairs. In other words, the Mar Brisas is ripe for the picking. What Quinn doesn’t realize is that the mystery woman from the elevator shaft is Nicole Whitaker, the owner, who loves Mar Brisas and didn’t get a dime of insurance after the hurricane. She’s trying to do the necessary repairs herself, but business has fallen off and the bank is threatening foreclosure.
Needless to say, when Quinn and Nic realize who each other are, their first impressions change. He thinks she’s scamming her insurance company; she thinks he’s a heartless tycoon come to destroy her dream. But they can’t quite get rid of that pesky attraction, nor can Quinn shake the feeling that Nic is the one woman in the world for him.
This is, without a doubt, a Light-and-Fluffy romance. There is no deep angst here, no powerful and troubling issues, and nothing that will linger long in your memory. However, both characters are quite likable, as are the plot and the setting. The east coast of Florida is one of my very favorite places in all the world, so I heartily sympathized with Nic’s ambition to preserve its authentic Spanish architecture, rather than see it converted entirely into square hotels and pink stucco condos. I was also charmed by the fact that this novel turns an increasingly annoying stereotype on its ear: you know, the one about the career-minded city girl who gives up her career to live in a small town with some local yokel? In this case, the career-minded one who gives up the career is the hero. A minor inversion, I admit, but one I relished. The irksome lust-think of the initial chapters soon subsides, and it becomes clear that the hero and heroine are truly meant for each other. There’s also a funny subplot dealing with a certain billboard that I thought was a hoot.
Like A Hurricane is an amusement; it’ll make for a stress-free diversion on a Saturday morning, or a nice way to spend the hours some evening after work and before bed. Sometimes that’s exactly what I’m looking for in a romance novel. If you’re in the mood for such a book, pick up Like A Hurricane. It is unlikely to rock your world, but it’ll pleasantly fill up a few hours.