Leena Riley has returned to her hometown of Rock Creek with her tail between her legs. Her fabulous plus-size modeling career in Chicago never took off, and now the only job she can land is as a receptionist in a veterinarian’s office. She has to be desperate to work for Cole Flannigan…
Being two years older than Cole never spared her from his taunts in school. Now all grown up, Cole is still the golden boy, a sexy charmer with commitment issues and a short attention span—until Leena and her curves strut into his life. And though she turns his office upside-down, he can’t resist the animal attraction that makes him look at Leena in a whole new light…
This is my first book by this author and I loved it!! I was in the mood for something exactly like this. While reading at work, I found myself laughing out loud more than once.
Leena Riley never intended to return Rock Creek. Having left years earlier, Leena enjoyed her success as a plus-size model and secretly stuck it to every kid that made fun of her weight while she was in school. One of those kids that made fun of her was Cole Flannigan, who is now the town vet. Though he only made fun of her once, Leena made it a time he wouldn’t forget when she socked him in the face. She never thought she would actually be working for Cole, much less be attracted to him.
Cole had no idea that letting Leena talk him into hiring her would be one of the smartest things he’d ever done. In no time at all, she brings order to his office and his life. Organizing his files and even his patients, Cole wonders what he ever did without her. He also can’t help but be attracted to her. Cole has always been a man that appreciates a curvy woman and Leena is nothing if not curvy.
What I liked about this book is that it was a straight romance. Sure, there was conflict. Leena had major self-esteem issues, even being a plus-size model. She also thought that every compliment Cole gave her was a joke on his part. She ate full bags of Cool Ranch Doritos. Honestly, when she did that, I got full with her. She had a major problem with stress eating. She really did have issues, but they didn’t take away from the romance.
The secondary characters were great. Sue Ellen at first seemed a little ditzy. We soon find out that while she is a little looney, it’s in a way that is totally loveable. She will do anything to protect her sister and make her happy. She also had her own little secondary romance going on on the side. Wanting to finally be respectable, she had high hopes for her relationship with the high school football coach, Coach Russ. She didn’t want it to matter that she had dancing Elvis’s on her walls, that she loved pink, or that she used her oven as storage for her scrapbook.
The sense of family and friendships in Rock Creek made the book what it was. I loved reading about Cole’s best friend, Nathan, giving him a hard time about falling for Leena. I loved reading about Cole’s aunt, who happens to be a nun, counseling Leena without her even realizing it. I loved reading about Leena finally being comfortable in her body and helping a teenager realize that she’s fine the way she is.
It was also scenes like this that made me really enjoy this book.
Leena was helping Sue Ellen, her sister, out for an ad for the Mobile Home Park she manages:
Leena yanked open the bathroom door. “What do you think?”
“Wow.” Sue Ellen was clearly impressed. “Did you get new boobs?”
“No, I just can’t get them to stay in this dress” Leena tugged the bodice up.
“You look great. Sex sells,” Sue Ellen said. “Come on. The photographer is legally blind in one eye so he won’t notice if one of your boobs slips out. Just pull the dress up again. I’ll let you know if too much is showing.”
Or this (while conversing with Cole):
Suddenly Leena couldn’t breathe. She felt as if she’d swallowed an Altoid!
Wait–she had just swallowed an Altoid!
She didn’t dare cough, for fear he’d pound her on the back and her breasts would launch themselves at hom, fleeing the confines of her Jane Austen Does Dallas dress.
I really could go on and on. I just really enoyed the book and am looking forward to picking up more of Cathie Linz’s work.
4 out of 5.