Review of RELUCTANT PARTNERS by Kara Lennox (see her website)
Harlequin American Romance #1216, June 2008
Cooper Remington has always been the second son, the 'spare,' with his golden older brother destined to take up their father's place in the family corporate empire. So, when favorite (but nere-do-well) Uncle Johnny dies, Cooper rounds up two of his cousins (also second sons) and heads to Port Clara, Texas. The plan--they'll take over Johnny's charter fishing service and make a business of their own. The problem--there's already someone living on Johnny's boat--a woman who claims that Johnny left the boat to her, and whose plans have nothing to do with a bunch of East Coast city-slickers.
When Johnny Remington sickened, Allie Bateman poured her energy--and her savings--into keeping his boat floating, keeping the business going, and pursuing her dream of her own charter boat service--to replace the one her dishonest uncle cheated her out of. She earned that boat--in sweat equity and in being Johnny's true family while his blood relatives ignored his sickness. When her own uncle stole her family boat, she was too young to fight back. Now, though, she's all grown up--and has no intention of letting more thieves take what's hers. Even if Cooper Remington does get her heart beating fast. After all, anyone can be sexy on the outside.
Neither Cooper nor Allie will budge from their demands. Eventually, their dispute, and Johnny's two wills, will have to be litigated. Pretty quickly, though, both can see that some level of cooperation is essential. If they can't agree, the boat will rot on the docks and the business will vanish. A rough, reluctant, partnership is the only solution. It's just temporary, though, both vow. And those sexy vibes they pick up have got to be controlled.
Author Kara Lennox (see more BooksForABuck.com reviews of novels by Lennox) kicks off a high-energy series with RELUCTANT PARTNERS. Allie, with the baggage from her past, is no pushover for the east-Coast hotshot-lawyer. And Cooper has a lot to learn--about boats, living life, and women. Over time, their conflict knocks off rough edges from each of them. Still, will Cooper really be able to put the wealth and power of his New York past behind him and settle down as a reluctant partner on a fishing boat? Allie doesn't dare trust her heart to a man who seems intent to steal her inheritance--and the life she needs to live, but can she give up Cooper once she sees his human side?
RELUCTANT PARTNERS is a charming and emotional story--I'm happy to recommend it.
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