Author: Phyllis Bourne
Published: February 2014
Reasons I Might Actually Remember This One: In spite of the set-up in which the hero blackmails the heroine into accompanying him on a road trip, the heroine has a lot of agency in this one. She doesn’t end up going with him because of the threatened lawsuit; she goes with him because she is in cahoots with his grandmother, and is thwarting his efforts to “protect” the old woman by interfering with her bucket-list exploits.
I’ve got to be honest here: Ethan’s grandmother, Carol, may be my favourite person in this book. I would seriously read an entire romance about this woman. Even as a minor character, she shines.
But that’s not to say there’s anything wrong with the hero and heroine. Uptight Ethan Wright (OMG, I only just noticed that that makes him “Mr. Wright”) and much-more-relaxed Tia Gray were great together.
My single favourite moment came immediately after Tia has confided in him about all the various stress coming at her from her family. I have read SO MANY romances in which the heroine learns to put up with/placate/win the hearts of insanely demanding family members (in Harlequin Presents it’s frequently an insane mother-in-law), and it always drives me crazy. It’s just such an unhealthy, please-step-on-me-again behaviour. So when Ethan tells Tia to stop enabling them, and let her adult family members deal with the consequences of their own actions, I practically cheered.
Heroine is the Only Real Adult in her Family
Elders Gone Wild
Makeover-Induced Life Changes