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All Shook Up
     

All Shook Up

3.8 30
by Susan Andersen
 

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A Man With a Past

When an unexpected inheritance sends J.D. Carver to the Star Lake Lodge to claim his half, he's expecting trouble. Being greeted with open arms by the whole Lawrence gang—feisty Aunt Sophie and calm Uncle Ben, clearly off-limits Dru and her young son, Tate—just convinces him they're working an angle, and he's

Overview

A Man With a Past

When an unexpected inheritance sends J.D. Carver to the Star Lake Lodge to claim his half, he's expecting trouble. Being greeted with open arms by the whole Lawrence gang—feisty Aunt Sophie and calm Uncle Ben, clearly off-limits Dru and her young son, Tate—just convinces him they're working an angle, and he's determined to uncover it. But a tiny part of him longs for the home-and-hearth life they have.

A Woman With a Reputation

Dru's finally beaten her bad-girl reputation, and though the Lodge may not be exciting, she's fiercely protective of her quiet home. Hard-eyed J.D.'s ability to push all her buttons just proves how wrong he is for her. So why does her son hero-worship the guy? And why does her heart clench when he gets that "nose pressed against the candy shop window" look on his face?

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Readers will appreciate the well-drawn, saucy characters and witty exchanges that garnish Andersen's latest (following Be My Baby) rags-to-riches romance. When construction foreman J.D. Carver inherits part ownership of a swank lodge, he accepts the windfall with relief (to be leaving "Rat City") and some measure of suspicion. Having been raised on the mean streets of Seattle, drifting from foster home to foster home, J.D. can't believe that a foster mother who had once tossed him out after accusing him of theft is now leaving him her estate. Moreover, his new business partners, Dru Lawrence and her Aunt Sophie and Uncle Ben, are just too nice about the whole thing. Despite J.D.'s overly suspicious nature, he is strangely attracted to Dru's "girl-next-door" charm, and an engaging but fitful romance develops between the two. A perfect balance of femininity, spunk and vulnerability, Dru is an unusually likable heroine, and J.D., in his struggle to let go of his past and become part of this "Disney" life, is a fine hero. Unlike many romances that are merely light entertainment, Andersen's winning tale echoes with themes about learning to love, trust and believe in the goodness of humanity. (Jan. 9) Forecast: With a plot line and characters that will remind many of Ally McBeal or Sex in the City, this book, if marketed well, will have some TV fans reaching for the shelves rather than the remote. Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780380807147
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
10/28/2013
Series:
Avon Romance Series
Edition description:
Reissue
Pages:
368
Sales rank:
833,713
Product dimensions:
4.18(w) x 6.75(h) x 0.92(d)

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

The gas gauge on J.D. Carver's vintage Ford Mustang read "Empty" when he arrived in Star Lake, Washington, one day ahead of schedule. But then, it never read anything else—the needle had been stuck there since he'd bought the car in '93. The car's trunk held a few of his favorite power tools, a tool chest, and a My loaded carpenter's belt. The backseat held two table saws. He also had an antique gold watch in his pocket, an old canvas army duffel containing everything else he owned in the world, and a raft of emotions he'd give a lot to deny sitting heavy in his gut.

His life back in Seattle had gone to hell. It was his own fault, but knowing that didn't help. His friend Butch he didn't even want to think about right now. And Bob Lankovich, the man who'd given him his start in construction-and through whose company's ranks J.D. had risen to become foreman—was in prison. J.D. didn't want to think about Bob, either. Or his idiot son, Robbie.

He was just tired of the whole freaking mess—the threats, the being a pariah. In Rat City, for chrissake. How could anyone do anything bad enough to be a pariah in a neighborhood known as Rat City? His unexpected inheritance from Edwina Lawrence was nothing if not timely. It was an excellent time to get out of town.

He laughed without humor. Of course, Edwina was just another can of worms. He ought to open a damn bait shop—between her, Butch, and the Lankovich mess, he was ass-deep in worms.

J.D. rubbed at the tension knotting the back of his neck. He was pretty much down to his last option. He'd given up his studio apartment, sold the tools he couldn't fit in the car,and cleaned out his bank account. There was nothing left for him in the city where he'd grown up, and nowhere to go if this didn't work out. So he planned to make it work, come hell or high water.

He pulled up in front of the fieldstone-and-timber lodge that he now had a half interest in, and parked the car. Then he simply sat there for a moment, breathing in the rich scent of evergreens and lake. Reaching into the watch pocket of his jeans, he stroked. a finger over Edwina's father's gold timepiece, which she had left him along with her share of the lodge.

The same watch she'd once accused him of stealing.

More than Robbie Lankovich's threats or J.D.'s disillusionment over Butch's collecting on a debt he'd always known would one day be collected, Edwina's ancient betrayal still had the ability to bother him.

He snorted softly. Bother. There was a nice, understated way of putting it.

It still had the power to twist his gut into a mass of knots, and that wouldn't do. Climbing out of the car, J.D. shouldered his duffel and stared up at the imposing shingle-roofed fieldstone porch that ran across the entire front of the inn.

It was bad enough that he still allowed a childhood injustice to color his life after all these years. But right now, he particularly needed to focus his concentration.

Because five would get you ten that he was about two minutes away from a no-holds-barred dog fight with Edwina's relatives over the share of this lodge that she'd bequeathed him.

Dru thanked the front-desk clerk and hung up the phone. Oh, God, he was here. She straightened in her chair, aware of her heart rate bumping up a notch. J.D. Carver was out in the lobby. He wasn't supposed to be here until tomorrow.

She'd believed she was fully reconciled to the new situation. She'd honestly thought she was prepared to meet Edwina's beneficiary and welcome him into both the business and the Lawrence clan. But if the sudden, apprehensive tripping of her pulse was anything to go by, she'd merely been fooling herself.

Standing, she checked to see that her sleeveless white polo shirt with its discreet lodge logo was neatly tacked into her walking shorts, then smoothed her hands over the crisp hunter-green material that skimmed her hips. She took a deep breath and blew it out. Okay, she was ready. She just wished he hadn't arrived early; it destroyed their plan to greet him as a family.

Dru squared her shoulders. Big deal; she'd just have to tough it out on her own. She'd been meeting and greeting people professionally since she was sixteen years old. Besides, Aunt Soph and Uncle Ben were just over at the cabin they'd reserved for Carver's use, putting. on a few finishing touches to make him feel at home, so she'd have backup shortly. Not that she'd need it. She headed for the lobby. Just think of him as a long-lost cousin.

Easier said than done, Dru decided a few moments later as she looked at the man squatting in front of the massive fieldstone fireplace. Even from the back, he didn't look like her idea of a cousin.

He appeared to be one supercharged mass of muscularity—from. the spot where his dark hair brushed the tanned skin of his neck, right down to his workboot-clad feet. A pristine white T-shirt stretched across wide shoulders and clung to the narrowing wedge of his back until it disappeared into a worn pair of jeans that hugged his muscular thighs and butt. Her heartbeat inexplicably picked up

She cleared her throat. "Mr. Carver?"

He twisted to look at her over his shoulder. His dark eyebrows met over his nose, and for just a moment he seemed to still. But it must have been her...

Meet the Author

New York Times bestselling author Susan Andersen lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband of a really long time and their kitty boys, Boo and Mojo.

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All Shook Up 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 31 reviews.
harstan More than 1 year ago
The Star Lake Lodge in Washington State has always been a family affair as no person that is unrelated to the Lawrence clan has ever owned an interest in the business. However, the entire family from Dru to her Uncle Ben to her Aunt Sophie is stunned that deceased Great Aunt Edwina gave her share to an ¿urban¿ outsider, J.D. Carver.

On the one hand, J.D. looks forward to leaving the rat race of construction in Seattle. However, on the other hand, he expects a war with Edwina¿s relatives. To his shock, although the three adults and Dru¿s son obviously see him as an intruder, they still warmly welcome him to the lodge. Instead of gracefully accepting their hospitality, J.D. looks for the underlying motives, a left over from his deprived childhood. Of course, Dru shares his suspicions and soon his love. However, his past creeps up to the lodge, placing everyone in danger and making J.D. realize that he must leave his Eden and the people he cherishes and loves for their sake.

Best selling author Susan Anderson provides her audience with her usual mixing of humor, tension, and a great cast that makes her novel so popular. Her current tale, ALL SHOOK UP, is a fabulous contemporary romance that works because the key five charcaters seem genuine. Most readers will relate to the kindhearted yet boisterous Aunt Sophie and the quiet but caring Uncle Ben. They along with Dru¿s preadolescent son provide the depth to a poignant drama starring two wonderful lead characters.

Harriet Klausner

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I love the sense of humor,dialogue,and action!
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risuena More than 1 year ago
I'm reading chick-lit books from a few authors to see who I like, and I must say Susan Andersen is near the top of my list so far. This is my first book from her, and I like it overall. I enjoyed the main female character and thought that her family really made the book for me. She did a terrific job with the supporting roles and their stories. Of course the main man sounded like terrific eye candy, but as with many chick-lit books I've read lately, what I didn't like was this "you're the one" only after meeting the person a week. The sex scenes are great, but the romance is not quite believable. Rachel Gibson is another author whose writing is similiar, with not as well developed supporting characters, but with more emphasis on the two main characters and many steamy moments between them.
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