Genre - Contemporary
Series - Malibu and Ewe #1
Format - Paperback (277p.)
Rating - 3/5 stars
The beachside knitting shop Malibu & Ewe is the perfect place for L.A.’s hip young crowd to enjoy colorful yarn and intimate conversation. For personal chef Nikki Carmichael, it could be the softest place to land if her new job falls through. Working for magazine writer Jay Buchanan has come with some strange conditions—like pretending to be his girlfriend. As for Jay, he finds himself drawn to the kitchen, where he’s intrigued by his sexy cook’s ability to withstand the heat between them. And now he thinks it’s time to turn up the flames.
• Liked •
The hilarity in this book is great. Especially being inside Jays head! The 'Jay-isms' make this book a worthwhile read alone. And the main factor in my going with 3 stars. I tip my hat to Ridgway for making Jay so funny, while still maintaining some more serious undertones. Without him, this book would have been so depressing, I highly doubt I would have finished it. Jay deserves a purple heart, in my opinion, by making all situations fun and playful. I've never read a hero like him.
• Didn't like •
It was busy busy busy! Even the cover is busy! It should have tipped me off right away that there would be a lot going on. Most of the characters I could have done without. And I'm seriously getting pissed about authors lately putting me in the mind of an adolescent. Been there, done that, was great but don't want to relive it… Also didn't care for the lack of clarification on some things. Such as the knee injury that was the catalyst for Nikki's career change that wasn't explained until the very end. But it was brought up constantly. Each time I found myself ripped from the story and looking for explanations as to the cause thinking I missed something. "Did she fall? Was she in an accident?" And even though it was explained at the end, it wasn't really. All that was mentioned was that she injured it when she was raped, but it didn't say how. That was my biggest issue in the clarification department.
The other was her mysterious home. The one she needs a job to pay the rent and bills on. But yet only 1% of the story takes place there. And apparently, she does go to that mysterious place, but we don't know what happens there because it isn't written about. For all I know, she could be hooking up with someone else! Probably could have done away with a few of the side stories and, maybe thrown in some snippets of Nikki's home life.
Now for my issues with the characters. They all could use a good shrink. Nikki is too emotionally scarred and TSTL, Shannah is in need of more than a psychologist… more like a straight-jacket and an institution. Fern takes her best friends fears and rebels against them by placing herself into situations that are harmful to herself and others. These people don't make for light, happy reading.
• Final thoughts •
Love Christie Ridgway, and have read a lot of her books over the years. This one is my least favorite. Maybe because my hopes were so high for it or whatever, but ultimately I was left extremely disappointed. There were some really great moments, and overall it was a good read once I started skipping the superfluous parts. Without the excessive derails and mentally unstable supporting cast, this book probably would've gotten 4/4.5 stars out of me. That said, I would recommend it if it was discounted or free, simply for the epic hilarity that is Jay Buchanan.
• Favorite quotes •
But after studying the woman on his doorstep… well, to put it bluntly, this leggy darling was no dyke.
Looking away, she used her right hand to crack the eggs into the bowl.≈ ♥ ≈ ♥ ≈ ♥ ≈ ♥ ≈
"Now there's something I've always wanted to do," he said. "I've never gotten the hang of using just the one hand."
"If you weren't so satisfied by the ladies, you could practice in the shower."
There was another moment of silence.
He groaned as he ground his hips against hers and his sex filled her body.≈ ♥ ≈ ♥ ≈ ♥ ≈ ♥ ≈
He murmured against her lips. "Take me. Have me."
She tilted her hips to meet him, to open herself to his body and to his passion. And with a last wild thrust, he went over, his release as violent as hers. He whispered against her ear as his heavy, sated body pressed down damply. "Love me."