Book 211: HOTSHOT Review

Hotshot by Julie Garwood
ISBN:  9780525953012 (paperback)
ISBN:  9781101624258 (ebook)
ASIN:  B009VMBZYS (Kindle edition)
Publication date: August 6, 2013 
Publisher: Dutton Adult

Peyton Lockhart and her sisters have inherited Bishops Cove, a small, luxurious oceanfront resort, but it comes with a condition: The girls must run the resort for one year and show a profit, only then will they own it.

A graduate of a prestigious French culinary school, Peyton has just lost her job as a food critic. Out of work and in a bad place personally, a year doing something completely different sounds wonderful.

There are countless challenges and too many people who want to stop the sisters from succeeding. Among them are Peyton’s contentious cousins, who are outraged that they didn’t inherit the resort, as well as a powerful group of land developers who have been eyeing the coveted beachfront property.

It’s soon apparent to Peyton that their efforts are being sabotaged, but she refuses to let the threats scare her until she’s nearly killed. She calls on her childhood friend and protector, Finn MacBain, now with the FBI, and asks for his help. He saved her life once; he can do it again.

Peyton Lockhart has had a crush on Finn MacBain since she was six years old. Finn saved her from a potential drowning and then taught her to swim. For most of her preteen life she considered Finn her own guardian angel. As Finn grew older and went away to college their friendship seemed to gradually dissolve away, but Peyton has never forgotten him. 

Newly graduated from culinary school, Peyton wants to find a job and strike out on her own. The only job seems to be an editor’s assistant/food critic at a culinary magazine miles away from home. Peyton accepts the job and moves away from friends and family. Unfortunately the job comes with some undesirable attention; the lecherous attention of her boss . . . her married boss. The work environment is filled with hostile and unwanted sexual advances from her boss and she is told that she can’t file a complaint until she’s been there awhile. She tries to go over her boss’s head to the company owner, her boss’s father-in-law, but is thwarted at every turn. Peyton’s only recourse is to quit the job and go back home. 

Peyton returns home to find that her favorite uncle is giving her and her sisters a unique opportunity to strike out on their own. They have to take over the management of a resort hotel in Florida and make it profitable in one year’s time in order to become full owners of the resort. It’s an offer too good to refuse.

Peyton had hoped that leaving the magazine would end her problems, but they seem to follow her and her sisters to Florida. After she’s been shot at and had other close calls she resorts to calling her childhood guardian angel for help. Finn is now an FBI agent and he is just what is needed to keep Peyton safe.

Hotshot is not just the title but the childhood nickname Peyton had given to Finn. She’s hopeful that he’ll be able to ride into town and save the day as he often did during her childhood. The problem is that there are so many fires to be put out: saboteurs on the hotel renovation, death threats (presumably from previous employers), oblique threats from potential hotel rivals, and family drama from an unwelcomed (and horribly spoiled) cousin. I don’t know if it was just me, but the story wasn’t as tight as I usually expect from this author. I actually enjoyed the storyline about sexual harassment. The unwelcome cousin I felt was a bit much and didn’t really add that much to the story. I enjoyed the back story for Peyton and Finn, as well as their current developing relationship. I found Hotshot to be a quick read and it was interesting for the most part, but there was just something about the story that didn’t quite fit in my mind. The beginning of the story and the end I found plausible and enjoyable, but the middle just seems to get a bit muddled.

Disclaimer: I received a digital copy of this book free for review purposes from the publisher via NetGalley. I was not paid, required or otherwise obligated to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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