Thursday, January 22, 2009

All Shook Up by Susan Andersen


Excuse me while I turn off the fans.

All Shook Up by Susan Andersen is a contemporary romance with more heat than a self-cleaning oven.  Really.

Dru Lawrence is a thirty year old single mother who lives and works with her aunt and uncle on a mountain resort outside of Seattle.  Aunt Sophie and Uncle Ben are part owners of the place along with Edwina - a great aunt who has just passed away.  And Edwina has left her half of the resort to a former foster son who she hadn't heard from  in years. That would be J.D. Carver who is, quite simply, sex in a tool belt.

J. D. is not going to be an absentee owner; in fact, he packs his belongings and heads off to Star Lake Lodge intending to stay.  But that decision is not made out of  love for the great outdoors. He simply has nowhere else to go because Carver has just blown the lid off of a construction company scam. That would be the same construction company where he was foreman and the same one where most of his friends used to work. Now the company's out of business, his friends are on the street and the boss is in jail.  No one back home is too thrilled with him so needless to say, Edwina's bequest comes at a very good time.

But smoldering, simmering J.D. has led a transient life and is understandably wary of anything homey. Especially Star Lake. And everything he experiences there - the welcoming warmth of Uncle Ben and Aunt Sophie, the hero worship of Dru's ten year old son, and his growing attraction, both physically and emotionally, to Dru - well, it's all under suspicion. Things are just too good to be true and he's just not deserving.

Oh, but John David, you are so wrong - as Drucilla Jean tries to convince him.

The attraction between Dru and J.D. is instant and the plot sizzles along until these two finally get it together. But life isn't as easy as all that, as J.D. can tell you - and does - when a dark shadow from his past arrives at Star Lake to cause trouble.

The story follows the formula of a typical romance -the requisite happy ending is a given.  But the plot is well conceived, the characters completely believable and the heat ... well, I'll let you borrow a fan or two. If you ask nicely.

Get this one. It's a winner.

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