Published by Darcy Burke on August 25th 2017
Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo
After a hot hook-up on New Year’s Eve, Crystal Donovan plans to avoid Jamie Westcott, which could be difficult, given the size of Ribbon Ridge. But she’s only there a few days doing research on the town’s history then it’s back to her glam life in LA. When his family holds the key to unraveling a century-old mystery she has to seek him out—and the sparks are still flying.
Jamie Westcott works his ass off to repay his college loans, which doesn’t leave much time for other commitments. Crystal’s a perfect fling: she’s fun and sexy and, best of all, they have little in common and she lives somewhere else. Only, the more time they spend together the closer they get, despite their intent to keep things casual.
When everyone learns Crystal sold a screenplay exposing the dark secrets of Ribbon Ridge—and Jamie’s family—she becomes the town pariah. Jamie won’t leave and Crystal can’t stay—can love show them another way?
“Never have I ever been to a party with Prince Harry.” He drank.
She pulled her feet down and sat straight up, leaning forward, in one fluid, whiplash movement. “Shut. Up.”
“Well, not with him, but I met him. Nice bloke.”
“Okay, that is way better than any famous person I’ve met.” Her gaze softened. “Is he as tall and gorgeous as I think?”
Jamie chuckled. “I have no idea. How tall and gorgeous do you think he is?”
“Super gorgeous.” She slid him a glance that clearly said, “duh.” Propping her feet back up, she settled into the couch once more. “And he’s six inches taller than me. And nine months older. In other words, we’d be perfect for each other.” She sent him another look, this one full of self-mockery. “I’ve been planning our wedding since I was ten. Just ask Alaina.”
“Well, it seems you ought to meet him then.”
She bolted upright again. “You could make that happen?”
“Probably not. Sorry. Anyway, I think he has a girlfriend now.”
She slouched back with a dejected sigh. “I know.”
“I’m six-one,” Jamie said, recalling the prince was maybe the same height or just slightly taller. “Not nearly as good looking though.”
Crystal tipped her head to the side and studied him. “You’re no Prince Harry, but you’re cute.”
“I’ll take that. Your turn.”
“Let’s see… Never have I ever made out with a celebrity.” This time she took a drink.
“You going to kiss and tell?” When she shook her head, he prodded for more information. “Just making out?”
She peered at him over the top of her glass. “How naughty do you want to take this game?”
Her sultry look heated his body once more. “If you recall, I was all for the stripping part. In fact, there’s been a disappointing lack of that.”
A smile teased her lips. “I see. Honestly, if it wasn’t so cold out, I’d suggest a dip in the hot tub. I think that’s uncovered at least.”
“Can it be too cold if the water is over a hundred degrees?”
“Good point. But I don’t have a suit.”
“Neither do I. Never have I ever gone skinny dipping.” He sipped his beer. “In a hot tub.” He drank again. “With a hot blonde.” This time he didn’t drink but simply stared at her in open invitation.
“She pulled her feet from the table and rose from the couch. “There are towels in the locker room. Give me a head start.”
~~Reviewed by Monique~~
Crystal Donovan is in Ribbon Ridge, doing research at the historical society on the Bird’s Nest Ranch, where an archaeology team is excavating, not much has been found yet, but everybody in town is dying to know. Crystal also has some friends in Ribbon Ridge, notably the famous actress Alaina Pierce, for whom Crystal works for. There’s a little celebratory gathering, and Crystal notices Jamie Westcott, who is a distant acquaintance. A pool game gets under way, a little imbibing is done, and Crystal and Jamie have a one-night-stand. What’s the worse that could happen? Crystal lives in California, after all…
SO IN LOVE was such a wonderful surprise! I thought the blurb sounded interesting, but honestly, I expected instalust, instalove, an avoidable conflict or two, pages of sex scenes, and then the happy-ever-after. What a joy it was that what conflict occurred over something really interesting, external, and something that neither Jamie nor Crystal could have done anything about: revelations that surface along with the remains of the Bird’s Nest Ranch, and that was a doozy! I liked both Crystal and Jamie from the get-go, but even better: Jamie is younger, better educated, and Crystal is a wealthy woman while Jamie is still paying off his students loans, and they handled everything in a civilised, adult manner.
I know Darcy Burke as a historical romance author, I had never read any of her contemporary romances, and sometimes when an author switches genres, it’s not always successful. In Ms. Burke’s case, it’s a triumph! SO IN LOVE is one of my favourite contemporary romances of this year. SO IN LOVE is so easy to read, so smooth, and very well written, everything flows effortlessly. Jamie and Crystal’s romance progresses very organically, they are just so lovely together. The sex scenes are steamy, and loving; the banter between Jamie and Crystal is flirtatious and fun; and the dialogues are overall excellent. The part of the storyline regarding the Bird’s Nest Ranch is brilliant: gripping, well done, and one I don’t believe I have ever seen before; a fantastic addition to the romance. SO IN LOVE is a book you do not want to miss!
I voluntarily reviewed an advanced reader copy of this book.