Sunday, July 7, 2013

Love or Money

Love or Money
by Peter McAra
Published by Escape Publishing - Harlequin Enterprises Australia
132 pages
Genre: chick lit; romance
Thanks to NetGalley for the preview
3 / 5

What do you do if your mother desperately needs an expensive operation and you recently inherited your grandmother's beloved Australian beach home? Such is the conundrum facing Erin in this breezy book.

On the surface, it seems her decision is simple: sell the home. But in this romance novel that occasionally masquerades as a treatise on the coastal environment, Erin's apparently easy decision is made a whole lot tougher by two things: (1) Granny loved the hell out of that house and trusted it to Erin's safe keeping, and (2) there is a hot man involved who doesn't want her to sell.

The closer Erin gets to Hamish Bourke, her grandmother's executor, the less inclined she is to sell. Too bad the pesky issue of Mom's heart operation won't go away.

I'm not one who typically enjoys sweet books, but I did enjoy this one. Erin occasionally annoyed me when she became a bit self-righteous; we know your mother is dying, Erin. We know. WE KNOW. So you can quit beating that drum. I found myself not caring about her mother, though, which I suppose speaks more to my cold hard heart than it does to Peter McAra's writing. The mother is also sent up as a selfless saint, so I can understand why Erin wants to save her life. And if the ending comes about a bit too tidily, then all the better for Erin and Hamish.

Ah, Hamish. He has his own set of issues, and perhaps his reasons for wanting to control Erin's decision are not entirely noble. Or maybe they're entirely too noble? Hamish's personal life is turbulent, to say the least, so maybe he needs to preserve the beach home because he needs some sort of reliable stability. Or maybe he really is concerned about preserving Grandma's beloved homestead.

I'll admit to occasional boredom with this book, largely because every time there was dramatic tension, it was too easily resolved. Where the romance is concerned, it is very tame. If you want hot headboard rocking, this is not your book. But overall, it's cute, sweet, and enjoyable. As summer reads go, it works well.

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