Okay, maybe a surprise was not that shocking, because I bought the book on the strength of the review by the trusted book buddy who was very confident to say that this book is as different from what these writers usually write as one could imagine. I could *not* imagine that Heidi Belleau *or* Rachel Haimowitz could/would/want ever to write a sweet romance (and by sweet I do not mean no sex, by sweet I mean a romance that does not have rape and torture in it). And they are very good writers - that is why I have read several books by them before saying "enough is enough". In any event, in this case my curiosity got the best of me and I decided that seven dollars is a price I am willing to pay to satisfy it. Yep, this book *is* that different from anything that I read by them (separately and together).
I have not read previous books in this series but I did not feel confused at all because as far as I know the only connection between these books is that they all take place in the small town of Blue Water Bay and there is a TV show "Wolf landing" being filmed in the town. I also figured out that the secondary characters from the previous books make cameo appearances but it does not make the story confusing at all.
We meet Derrick who is running "B&B" hotel which he inherited from his dead parents or should we say succesfully almost run the business into the ground - he cannot cook, he does not want/know how to clean well and his last guests just decided to go into another hotel. Derrick is almost sure that he wants to close the hotel before he completely ruins his parents' legacy. That is till injured stunt performer from "Wolf landing" shows up at his door and Derrick decides to allow him to stay there. Ginsberg on the surface is as different from Derrick as two men could be. He is a sunny optimist who is genuinely trying to see good in the world and in the people around him. At first he feels bad for Derrick and decides to help him to deal with "B&B" and of course since it is a romance falling in love slowly takes place. I actually *loved*, *loved* that we are shown how and why the guys fall in love, how they see more in each other than is shown at the first sight. Physical attraction may be there soon enough, but I will argue that before they have sex (and there are only two sex scenes in this book) they actually become friends. And Derrick's grumbling pessimism slowly but surely eases up as situation with his business is getting better with Ginsberg's help.
Even separation made perfect sense to me, because surely as much as one tries, his insecurities do not go away in a few weeks after being wrapped up in it for years.
I think this will be a reread for me.