~REVIEW of Jessica Birds's BEAUTY AND THE BLACK SHEEP (THE REBEL reissue)~
Beauty And The Black Sheep (The Moorehouse Legacy, #1)
Opening line:"The only warning Frankie Moorehouse had that twenty gallons of water were going to fall on her and her desk was a single drop."
I don't generally read a lot of Harlequin but I am a huge fan of JR Ward and her Black Dagger Brotherhood which is how I discovered her alter ego Jessica Bird. I enjoyed this, her debut novel and could definitely hear Ward's voice in the writing, particularly when it comes to her sexy yet somewhat tortured male characters. And although this is a predictable, feel good romance Bird kept my interest throughout the engaging love story with interesting secondary characters and multiple POV's. In fact she's left me curious enough that I'm going to have to read the rest of the Moorehouse Legacy series to find out what happens to them all.
Ten years ago Frankie's parents died in a boating accident leaving her to raise her younger brother and sister and care for Grand-Em who suffers from dementia (I loved Grand-Em) To help pay the bills Frankie's turned the family's 6th generation mansion into a Bed & breakfast/restaurant. Unfortunately without the money for upkeep the walls are literally crumbling down on top of them. Tonight the chef's quit and Frankie's reached the end of her endurance, she's exhausted and if business doesn't pick up soon she's going to have to sell.
As fate would have it chef extraordinaire Nate Walker's beloved car Lucille has just broken down leaving him stranded on the side of the road. In his search for a phone so he can continue on to New York, Nate unknowingly enters the chaos of Frankie's kitchen. And before she can say "no soup for you" he's saved the night, putting her naïve staff to work and whipping up a fancy chicken dish for the starving guests.
The attraction between our pair is instantaneous (this is Harlequin after all) but Frankie's not going to be taken in by Nate's green and gold flecked eyes or his athletes body easily she's been burned once too many. That's a good thing too because in Nate's opinion Frankie really needs to dial down the attitude, though he can't help wondering what lies beneath the glasses and baggy clothes or how she'd look if she would just smile. Maybe he'll postpone buying that restaurant in New York, just for the summer of course, help Frankie get back on her feet before he leaves. I mean what's the worst that could happen? It's not like he's going to fall in love or anything. It's not like he'll mow her lawn wearing nothing but a pair of cut-offs, sweat trickling down his muscled chest. Cheers