Published by Entangled Publishing, LLC (Lovestruck) on August 14, 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Highlanders/Scotland
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Go-getter Georgia Paxton has ten days to acquire a quaint hotel in the Scottish Highlands for her travel accommodation company before she’s off on her next grand adventure. Too bad the sexy, broody Scot who owns the place is dead against the idea…and that she’s in very real danger of losing their little bet to see who can convince whom first.
There’s no way Callum MacGregor is going to let the gorgeous American turn his tiny hometown over to bored tourists looking to satisfy their Outlander fantasies. He only has ten days to convince her to slow down and see the magic of the town and its people. If he succeeds, he won’t have to run her out of the county. But if he fails, Georgia might run off with his heart.
A cute novella. Great characters. Some plot issues.
This is a 192 page novella and we don’t waste too much time with background of our main characters, except brief notes here and here. I really enjoyed how Georgia and Callum played off each other. For the most part, they were sweet and playful. Even the secondary characters make a decent showing even without too much depth of character. Like actors, these characters did their best to be likable and try to give a depth of presence. So the characters themselves made the romance as long as you didn’t get too caught in many of the plot issues that didn’t make much sense to me.
Georgia represents a travel company? and she was sent to Callum’s hotel to buy it? but he was going to run it? We don’t waste too much time for details of what kind of company it is except that they would be bringing tourists and Georgia had to find things for the tourists to do in this small town on the butt end of Scotland. We also know that Georgia’s company wanted to make all the rooms smaller in Callum’s Inn and double the amount to a whopping eight, yes eight, rooms. As Georgia was the only one staying there for her ten days, there really isn’t a rush on this very sleepy town with no wifi and shitty cell service. Let’s start with the fact that she is approaching a man who is refurbishing the grandeur of what is, at best, a bed and breakfast. If you are going to cut these rooms in half, and put in a bathroom for each room, they will the size of a roomy closet. I would have found it more believable if Georgia was secretly there to scout out another building for the company to take over and create a lavish hotel for their special travel guests.
Callum tells her from the beginning that he has no interest in selling to her or having her travel company come and invade their town with rotten tourists. Yet she constantly believes that once she can sit Callum down to see her presentation, he will jump at the chance to sign up. But Callum also owns the local pub (which he has also refurbished) and when he isn’t taking care of his one guest, he is over there serving drinks and making sure everything is taken care of. So Callum doesn’t get back to the Inn until wee hours of the morning and he is too tired for her presentation.
When he does have free time, he decides to show Georgia the highlights of their little town, which she loves and takes pictures of for her brochure, while Callum points out how tourists will trample on and destroy the landscape and take advantage of the gullible and friendly locals.
Georgia also comes to town with no idea of the weather. She does’t have decent clothes for hiking the landscape and for being out in the cold and wet. I have no idea how she became the heavy hitter for this company in charge of closing deals and setting up travel package. She seems a little too flighty.
Two things that did annoy me: one, Georgia is driving out of town to find some other town that would appreciate what she could bring to them and she crashes her car avoiding farm animals in the road. She has no signal so she has to walk all the way back to town in the dark and cold rain and everyone is frantic that she disappeared. BUT…once Georgia left the town, she got a signal and was talking to her BFF in America about her relationship with Callum. Then she lost the signal and shortly thereafter, she crashed her car. So…she just lost the signal, shouldn’t she have just walked about 100 feet down the road back the way she came, and been able to call Callum to come help her? Her phone didn’t die. She lost signal. The signal should have still be available when she walked back.
Number two, Callum is showing Georgia around town and the fae grove where couples drink from a special fae well and do a little ceremony and are thereafter married by the fae. This is one of those sacred local traditions and all the locals who did this are still married, yada, yada, and it is so sacred that Callum performs the ritual with Georgia while she is having fun taking her promo pictures. Later in the story, Callum is thinking about how he will one day do this with someone special and realizes that he ruined the special moment by doing it as part of Georgia’s promos. In fact, it is so special, that the whole town keeps asking when the actual wedding is. So if this was so sacred a marriage tradition, why would Callum do it with Georgia with no hesitation. She didn’t sweet talk or seduce him into it. She’s just “let’s do it.”
I know I am asking a lot of my $.99 find, but the characters were sweet and even the secondary characters were kookie and nice. Georgia was bubbly and kind and her pushing her tourist trap crap was very ham-handed and very out of character.
Sadly, with a little tweaking it could have been a better story and is just a waste of good characters when it doesn’t flow right.
Wanting this strange conversation over, she tapped her pencil against the pad. They rattled off their orders.
“Four ploughmen and four Robert Bruces coming up.” She wrote a table description she’d understand, hurried back to the bar, and relayed the drinks order to Callum. She grabbed four ploughman lunches and served the farmers and then headed to the bar.
Callum chuckled when she approached. “The ale is called Robert the Bruce.”
A clutch of postal delivery drivers was next, followed by the farmer who’d created her parking problem. She worked the room, refreshing drinks, delivering more lunches. Her shoulders had sent out strike notices hours ago. She’d have Superman-style biceps tomorrow, and while her boots looked stylish, her feet were throbbing. Finally, the lunch crowd lessened, leaving only two old men arguing about arguing.
She walked ot the bar to find Callum shaking his head, his amusement clear.
His smile was infectious. “What?” She plopped onto a bar stool, desperate to take off her boots, but afraid her feet would explode and she’d never get the boots on again. She groaned when she wiggled her shoulders.
“Love your descriptions.” He picked up her scribbled notes. “Two spotty chickens to the dungaree dudes, three the Bruce guy to the postal peeps, four Bruces to grumpy farmers. Once books frizz to the fruit woman.” He shook head head. “Speckled Hen, Robert the Bruce, ad Bucks Fizz.”
“I couldn’t figure out the table numbering.” She swallowed. “I hope I didn’t offend. I didn’t mean to, but to be fair I’ve never heard of the Robert the Bruce.”
“No offense taken. I knew who you were talking about, but I assumed you would have done a bit of research on Scotland before you came.”
She blew out a breath. “I did. Basic geography. Points of interest, that kind of thing.”
“Ah, Corporate, you have so much to learn.” He shook his head. “Thanks for this.” A warm smile curled his kissable lips.
That buttery feeling washed through her. “You’re welcome.” She glanced around the room. “What are you going to do for tonight?”
The smile turned into a frown “We’ll figure something out. Ellie, out backup waitress, can’t come in. Her daughter’s sick.”
“Tell you what. If you have a word with the hot water system, I’d like to make use of that huge clawfoot bath tomorrow. In exchange, I can come back and help.”
A smile that must be stolen from the gods lit his face. “Done. I’ll speak to Willy. He’s the ghost that hangs around the pipes.”
She grinned. “He has a name?”
“Well in that case, I’d like to have words with your Willy.”