Yesterday she was the perfect companion for an afternoon in the rocking chair while I finished my book, NOT ANOTHER NEW YEAR'S by Christie Ridgway. Y'all, I actually finished a book in a day and a half! This one can be counted as my first official 2011 read.
I hate Auld Lang Syne!
After all, this year brought Hannah Davis nothing but the memory of her wandering fiance marrying someone else behind her back. Now, sitting alone at a bar in Coronado, California, on December 31, she decides to do something radical...and lets a brooding good-looker taker her to bed. But when a hysterical woman bursts into their room much too early on New Year's Day, Hannah realizes this guy's more complicated than she thought...
Ex-Secret Service Agent Tanner Hart screwed up, big-time! Hoping to temporarily boot some of the ghsts from his life, he hooked up wit this sexy stranger for a hot one-night stand -- only to discover she's the woman he's agreed to protect...from me just like him!
But a new year is a time for fresh beginnings. Despite the danger, the hoopla, and the hangovers, if Hannha's brave enough to risk her heart again -- and Tanner's wise enough to realize he deserves it -- maybe this one will be different.
First off, it's always difficult for me to truly get into a straight contemporary romance because I abhor zany, unless I'm watching a sitcom (*sniff* Friends). To do contemp. the right way, I think the author has to mix up the perfect blend of humor with warmth, all while keeping it sexy and fresh. Christie Ridgway did just that in NOT ANOTHER NEW YEAR'S. Despite the silly pink bubblegum cover with glitter and a tiara, this book is fun, sexy, and one that was done just right...or at least for my tastes.
There's a couple characters who were featured in a previous book (MUST LOVE MISTLETOE), which I'd read several years ago. And while I couldn't quite recall specifics from that book, I remember thinking the cover was adorable and recalling that the heroine ran her family's year round Christmas store. Those two characters, Finn and Bailey, factor into NANY because of Tanner and Finn's shared vocation, ex-Secret Service.
What the blurb doesn't touch on is how hard Tanner is on himself throughout most of the book. The screw up mentioned is not of his fault, but being the responsible hero he is, he totally blames himself. But that doesn't detract from the guy's ability of knowing just what to do to keep Hannah entertained and out of harm's way. There is a mild adventure thread, and one I won't mention other than it lends itself to the secondary romance between Tanner's brother, Troy, and one of Tanner's past protection detail assignments, Desiree, the daughter of an Arab prince. I have to say though that I would've liked to see Troy with his own book. I could easily a whole book around him. But it's a minor gripe.
Hannah is one of those girls who has never stepped outside her comfort zone, and the fact that she's wanting to spend the night in the arms of a stranger should scare her. But what she doesn't know is that this 'stranger' is actually the man her uncle had set up to be her host while on vacation in Coronado. Hannah comes with her own bit of emotional baggage, although the way her engagement had ended would mess anyone up, there's more than meets the eye in the emotional department. We find out later on that for most of her life, Hannah has been trying to measure up to her sister's ghost, who had died in a traffic accident when Hannah was six years old. That kind of history would mess anyone up, especially when you see that all of this time, Hannah has blamed herself and tried to be the perfect daughter for her parents since. At first I was wanting to hate Hannah and her perfect goody two shoes self, but when I kept reading, it made me appreciate her that much more.
This year I'm going to try something new and think of grades or scores for the books I read. Many of the blogs I read have their own little ratings scales with thumbs up, or stars, hearts, hugs or kisses. I'm a plain kinda girl and will have to stick to the letter grades unless I can come up with something else in the future. That being said, I'm going to give NOT ANOTHER NEW YEAR'S a solid B/B+ score. It was a great start to what I hope will be a great reading year for me.