Type: Contemporary Romance
My Copy: Sent
Reformed wild-woman Zoe Larkin meets her match in saloon-owner Jase Garrett in this lighthearted, steamy romance set in a picturesque mountain resort town.
Welcome to Barringer’s Pass, Colorado—a mountain paradise with a long memory. The Larkin sisters have tried for years to make the town forget the wild ways of their youths, but Alpine Sky Resort assistant manager Zoe Larkin can still feel the judgment, despite her guarded manner and sensible skirts. Her big chance to be taken seriously as a business woman comes in the form of a land deal: all she has to do is persuade the owner of the rundown Rusty Wire saloon to sell so the Alpine Sky can build a golf course on the land.
Jase Garrett made a name for himself as a world-class competitive skiier and won four Olympic medals. But the tragic death of his best friend nine years ago threw him off course, and the Rusty Wire is both his sanctuary and his hideaway, so he will never sell. No matter what.
Zoe goes back to the drawing board with a little assistance from her very attractive boss. But when Jase is the victim of arson, Zoe becomes the number one suspect. Has she sunk to new lows to gain a promotion? Or is she the victim, too?
Zoe and Jase must work together—very closely together—to clear her name, save the Rusty Wire, and see if the sparks fly as well in the bedroom as they do at the negotiating table.
It’s been just about a year since I read Silver Sparks, the first of the Larkin Sisters books. When I received this one for review I had to go back and re-read my first review to try to reacquaint myself with the females from this strange family. Zoe was raised on a commune for a good chunk of her life by her free spirited mother. When she and her sisters were shipped to her grandmothers to live Zoe became the free spirit of the town. Her and her sisters ran wild and with that attitude came a powerful reputation that even years later, they can’t escape.
Zoe has made her life about order and structure. She focuses solely on her career at the local posh resort and in her quest up that ladder she finds herself at the local bar looking to make a deal with the owner. Except instead of finding it an easy acquisition, she finds the owner Jase to be completely obstinate and unwilling to wheel and deal. Zoe and Jase butted heads constantly and I found their budding relationship both well wrote and funny. Starr does this great combination of sexy, funny and suspenseful without crossing into the suspense genre. I wanted Zoe to loosen up and let Jase in a lot sooner then she did. I could understand her resistance but at some point, come on…he’s practically begging her to let him in. Knocking down those walls of hers until she has no choice but to confide in him. The push and pull and Jases’s arrogance (yum) were engaging and just….fun.
I enjoyed Jase immensely. He was sexy without being overdone. Jase spends most of the novel talking himself out of liking Zoe because he doesn’t feel he deserves to be happy after the death of his best friend years earlier. In an attempt to make amends and assuage his guilt, he hires his friends widow and his father on at the bar and lets them take over never noticing the hints of the widows failing psyche.
When things start happening around the bar everyone is quick to blame Zoe because of her past and even though the thought does enter Jase’s mind, he believes her innocence and instead thinks someone is out to frame her. The intrigue and “who done it” was enough to keep my attention without it becoming a full on suspense novel. It stayed in happy middle ground and it kept me reading.
I liked this book a lot! It made me smile in a sea of books that made me want to scream “MEH!”. I look forward to reading the last Larkin Sisters book…I just hope I don’t have to wait an entire year.
I give Gold Fire by Starr Ambrose 4 stars!