Monday, February 18, 2013

Bungalow Nights by Christie Ridgway

Title: Bungalow Nights
Author: Christie Ridgway
My Rating: A+

Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Beach House #2
Release Date: February 2013
Main Characters: Vance and Layla
ISBN: 9780373777457
Publisher: Harlequin
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: hot

Story Overview:
Combat medic Vance Smith made a promise to a fallen officer: to treat the man's young daughter to an idyllic vacation at Beach House No. 9. One month, some sun and surf, a "helmet list" of activities to check off and Vance will move on. But the "little girl" he's expecting turns out to be a full-grown woman. With silky hair, big brown eyes and smelling sweetly of the cupcakes she makes for her mobile bakery, Layla Parker is irresistible. And Vance shouldn't lay a finger on her. Honor-and one heck of a scarred heart-says so. 

To Layla, Vance is a hero who was injured trying to save her father's life. She intends to spend their month of lazy days and warm nights taking very good care of the gorgeous soldier-inside and out....

My Review:
This story was just absolutely beautiful. The two characters in this book absolutely melted my heart. Vance was a medic who's always lived under a lucky star, cheating death and helping those around him do the same...until Layla's father, a Colonel in the army, died under his battlefield care. Then there's Layla. She was raised by two a free-loving hippy...the other a straight-laced soldier...neither of them emotionally "there" for a little girl who needed that link.

Layla's father and a death bed wish bring them together for the premise of this book. As he lay dying, he realized all the things he never got to do with Layla and made Vance promise to do them in his stead. The issue was, Vance thought he was promising to do these things with a ten year old girl, not a gorgeous 24 year old woman who he finds incredibly attractive.

For Vance, this month is a time to R&R after being wounded. It's only an hour from his home, but he's estranged from his family after his fiance sent him a Dear John letter while he was deployed. She's now dating his brother who's always been the perfect son. And his father has made it clear that Vance is a disappointment by not letting him join the family avocado business although that's truly where Vance's heart lays. BUT his family loves him and the contrast of all that he has, even if it's not perfect, against Layla's extremely lonely family existence is marked and eye-opening.

Both these people are hurting. Layla's mourning her father. Vance is mourning his life and the way that he's taken advantage of it so far. But in the midst of all that, they are finding each other in a breathtakingly beautiful romantic story. I loved watching them fall in love. 

There's also a secondary love story between Addy, who was hired to be Layla's nanny for the month when Vance thought she was ten, and Baxter who is Vance's cousin. They hooked up for a single night six years ago and it was earth-shattering to both of them. For Addy, she lost her virginity. For Baxter, it changed ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING he thought about his life plan, but he wasn't willing to face that then. Their's was the secondary story in this book, but honestly, I loved it just as much as I did the primary story between Vance and Layla.

This is one of those books that was just perfection for my reading tastes. It was extremely emotional...I cried a couple of times during it, but I also laughed out loud several times too. I really enjoyed the premise of the story. I have a weak spot for wounded soldiers. It was just really an amazing read!

I received a complimentary copy of this book in return for an honest review.

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