Must Love Otters by Eliza Gordon
Published October 29th, 2013 by West 26th St. Press, NYC
Hollie Porter is the chairwoman of Generation Disillusioned: at twenty-five years old, she’s saddled with a job she hates, a boyfriend who’s all wrong for her, and a vexing inability to say no. She’s already near her breaking point, so when one caller too many kicks the bucket during Hollie’s 911 shift, she cashes in the Sweethearts’ Spa & Stay gift certificate from her dad and heads to Revelation Cove, British Columbia. One caveat: she’s going solo. Any sweethearts will have to be found on site.
Hollie hopes to find her beloved otters in the wilds of the Great White North, but instead she’s providing comic relief for staff and guests alike. Even Concierge Ryan, a former NHL star with bad knees and broken dreams, can’t stop her from stumbling from one (mis)adventure to another. Just when Hollie starts to think that a change of venue doesn’t mean a change in circumstances, the island works its charm and she starts to think she might have found the rejuvenation she so desperately desires. But then an uninvited guest crashes the party, forcing her to step out of the discomfort zone where she dwells and save the day … and maybe even herself in the process.
This is the kind of book I need to read more of. I had a goofy grin while reading it, I laughed out loud numerous times, and I even got a little teary eyed at the most romantic parts. This book completely blew me away and I enjoyed every single minute of it!
Hollie is a hilarious character, with inner monologue that will have you rolling on the floor in laughter. She just gets herself into these situations that are awkward, embarrassing and absolutely hilarious! At least for us, since it's not happening to us. ;) Hollie has discovered she is just not happy with her life. After traipsing with her through her horribly bad/ridiculous relationship, her depressing job where she's under-appreciated and even to her fathers home where she's assaulted by his goat, we see she clearly needs a change in her life. I was cheering her on when she decided to call in sick for a week to go to a resort in Canada. She manages to still find herself in ridiculous and compromising circumstances and I just loved every minute of it! Poor Hollie...
I felt it was clear the moment we meet the person who is to be her love interest, but we had to stick by through some awkward moments, and lots of flirty banter. This build up between them was what elevated this romance. It's still technically fast, but they have lots of 'moments' where we see things develop between them. At first it's not even romantic, at least on Hollie's part, but the steam is definitely heating up between them. When things finally take off it's total SWOON! The setting is pretty much as romantic as it gets and the description of the moments between them put tears in my eyes. They are out on the water on a boat watching wildlife, and since I live in the PNW and know how beautiful it is, I really felt that beauty. I also felt that it was described extremely well in the book and I was able to really feel like I was there. I have never been to BC Canada, but I've been almost that far north and I can imagine what it looks like. Also Hollie lives in Portland, which is where I live (well, I live next to Portland) so all the places she mentions locally were places I know (for the most part).
The romantic interest (at least eventually) is not of the traditional sort. We see him as Hollie does and initially I felt she wasn't that attracted to him. So what we first connect with is his personality. He's got some quick and smart retorts, he's unpredictable and he's honorable. He's also a real gentleman. Not that it always keeps him from holding his tongue, but he'll do anything to help Hollie. I liked that we got a male character that we weren't swooning over his body initially, but more his personality. And Hollie, as she got to know him better, started falling for his looks as well. There's some reasons while initially he wasn't 'as' attractive as well, and if you're a hockey fan, you may understand that sooner then I did and maybe make that connection almost immediately.
This book is easy to read, fun, non-stressful and extremely romantic. This was a perfect palate cleanser and I know that I'll be looking for more books from this Eliza Gordon writing team. I highly recommend!