A few months ago Christie Ridgway gave an awesome class at Romance Writers of America. The class was about letting the characters write the plot. I loved the content and, as with any exemplary class, it has stuck with me. One gift Ms. Ridgway gave us, besides so much of her wisdom, was her latest contemporary romance Beach House No. 9. I’ve read a couple of her books and enjoyed them all, but this book is outstanding, stupendous, amazing. I loved this book.
The characters in this book really do write the story. Our heroine is an intellectual who is paired with a reporter who is supposed to be writing his memoirs, but is in denial of the atrocities he witnessed during his embed year in Afghanistan. The hurt of those memories is too painful for him to revisit, he put the project on hold. I loved the way Christie wrote Griffin and the things he observed about Jane. He sees her as prim and proper. Her shoes always bring a mental response. There are bows or little heels, her clothes trim or ruffled. All of it feminine, but she is always the librarian. Her mouth makes him think things, though.
And she finds him undeniably handsome and virile. The first kiss he gives her makes me shiver just thinking about it. The chemistry between these two is so wonderful! Even before that first kiss in Chapter 2.
She calls him ‘chili-dog’ and he calls her ‘honey-pie’. Endearments designed to push the other away, but in truth, they bring them closer together.
Griffin spends months avoiding work on his book while Jane devises ways to get him to at least look at it. In the middle of it all Jane, a repressed, tender-hearted woman, can’t keep herself from falling for this hard-shelled man. At the same time Griffin can’t stave off Jane’s genuine nature and they finally get together. The love scenes are steamy and the pre-love scenes are hot and make you read to get to the love scenes.
As their relationship progresses, they both learn each other’s weaknesses and flaws. She doesn’t know how to swim. She was always the last considered in her family and he puts her first. He can’t sleep and he always pushes people away.
Jane grows on Griffin, the man who doesn’t want anyone to get close. She realizes all his attempts to keep people away is only a ploy to keep his heart from hurting. And… she falls in love with him. Jane gets Griffin to start on the book, but it pulls out his demons and leads to mother of all black moments.
I am not giving anything away… the black moment is so intense and goes on and on and all the weaknesses of these two flawed people are made right. The twists it takes will be a wild ride.
There is subplot that will keep your heart pumping too.
You have to read this book. It will make you smile and your heart sing.