The first couple of chapters gave me the impression that this book was going to be lively and playful in a sassy sort of way. But that quality dissipated as I got further into the book. The change in tone, a meddlesome character, and a big misunderstanding derailed a good bit of my enjoyment in the story.
Ava Christensen resisted her mother’s wishes when signed on with Entertainment News Now. Her mother warned against leaving the security of a career in accounting. But now she is well known as a TV blogger and celebrity reporter and she has every expectation of getting the cohost position – she even tells her mother that the job is all but hers. But she didn’t take into account her wildcard temporary producer, Jake Durham. Jake decides it is better for the show to go with a less experienced individual who also happens to be the station owner’s nephew. His only reason for picking a him over Ava is that he likes the “dynamics” between the two hosts.
To make matters worse, she thought she was attracted to the stupid man and almost kissed him at their annual anti-Valentine party. Well, she has the perfect solution. She is going on assignment to Rockdale’s film festival, so she won’t have to even see him for seven whole days.
But she barely has time to console herself with this thought before she finds out the producer traveling with her to Rockdale has quit, and Jake is going in her place. Still, that doesn’t mean she is going to live in his pocket. She will just minimize the time she spends with him. But that is before she falls in her chic heeled boots, and breaks her wrist. Jake comes to her rescue, and it is even more difficult to fight the attraction when he shows her his caring side.
Jake Durham is off women, especially women in the entertainment industry. He was burned badly after finding out that his fiancée was planning on using him and his family’s connections to further her career. He left Toronto for Vancouver to get away from being known as Chuck Durham’s son, and to make it in this industry on his merits. He has big plans for a travel show, but he needs investors. In the meantime he is helping a friend out by working as his executive producer.
Being attracted to Ava is not in his plans but she has a way of getting under his skin. Once they get close, it seems a natural progression to share some of his dreams, and Ava wants to help. But does she have a hidden agenda?
I understand why writers create heroines that seem like they would be between 18 and 45 years old . It makes it easier for readers to identify with them no matter what their age. But in doing that they sometimes leave off details that make the heroine seem authentic. That said, although Ava is in her early thirties, her actions reflect the times. There is a really cute scene where she is texting her best friend about Jake, while he is in the room. And her conversation with her friend seems vibrant and animated like you would expect between best friends.
Most of the characters are true-to-life, except Jake’s sister, Rachel. As a sister to brothers, I can’t imagine getting all into my brother’s business like she did. However, I do concede that some sisters might. Even so, I thought she was annoying.
The way Ava and Jake connect is credible too. Although I am not sure if I could give up the disappointment and bitterness over being passed over for a job.
Both Ava and Jake are dealing with parental issues. And while you might think by the time someone is in their thirties, these issues would be resolved, I found it realistic. Each has assurance to confront their parent and state their feelings. And I liked the way they stated, you do or did this and it makes me feel this. It reflects their maturity.
My other issue with the book besides the change in tone is the way the hero handles the conflict. I am not fond of the big misunderstanding. Plus I thought Jake acted like a jerk. And even though he appropriately handles the reconciliation, I still had lingering negative feelings about him.
Weighing the pros and cons from reading this book, I can’t say that I would seek out other books by Ms. McKenzie. However, if the plot and characters intrigued me, I would definitely read one of her books again.