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    Review of CHERRY ON TOP by Kathleen Long (see her website)

    Zebra Books, November 2005

    When she wins an interstate lottery, Cherry Harte knows that her life has changed. It doesn't matter any more that her fiance had her mother arrested--at their rehersal dinner, or that her father is an infamous gambler. She and her sister Liz can move to Florida's Mystic Beach. With help from her self-help tapes, and from the plans and goals poster on her wall, she's going to join Mystic Beach's high-prestige 'Woman's League,' and leave her disfunctional past behind her. The sexy guy working on her car is not part of her future, especially since he announces he doesn't like rich women.

    Luke Chance hasn't liked rich women since his fiancee inherited money and dumped him. And he definitely doesn't want to watch the all-beige 'Woman's League' turn sexy and fun Cherry into a pale reflection of themselves. But what can a guy do? He'll reach for another stick of gum and use the sugar rush to protect him from an attraction that can't be safe, that ties into his childhood allergy for cherries, and that's drawing him toward a woman who's keeping all kinds of secrets from him. Secret number one being, who's sabotaging her car.

    Author Kathleen Long (see more reviews of novels by Long) spins a sassy and fun tale of romance in a world where getting rich doesn't solve all problems, where family attachments are sometimes embarassing and sometimes plain dangerous, and where doing the right thing is a bit more complicated than it looks. Long's bit characters--painter Yogi with his breathing mask, pint-sized but mean gangster Moose, Gramps, ethically challenged dad--Monty, and ex-fiance Bart add to the fun.

    Maybe there are a few too many coincidences--but hey, CHERRY ON TOP is about having a good time, and that's what Kathleen Long delivers.

    Four Stars

    Reviewed 9/30/05

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