Up to Me [NOOK Book]


Ella Mayhew's always appreciated the beautiful view of Seneca Lake from the spa window of her family's hotel.But the view improves dramatically when a hot stranger runs across the grounds—shirtless. He's the first man to kickstart her hormones in the three years since she lost her parents, and she doesn't even know his name.

Graydon Locke's on his umpteenth undercover assignment. The routine's always the same: assess a business, recommend it for closure, then roll out before ...

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Up to Me

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Ella Mayhew's always appreciated the beautiful view of Seneca Lake from the spa window of her family's hotel.But the view improves dramatically when a hot stranger runs across the grounds—shirtless. He's the first man to kickstart her hormones in the three years since she lost her parents, and she doesn't even know his name.

Graydon Locke's on his umpteenth undercover assignment. The routine's always the same: assess a business, recommend it for closure, then roll out before anyone discovers his decisions impact hundreds of lives. He's always believed nothing good comes out of small towns. Why would this one be different? Then he makes two classic rookie mistakes—falling for the sweet, sexy girl who owns the very business he's on the verge of axing. And letting the town's residents get involved in both his life, and his relationship with Ella.

Ella's the best thing to ever happen to Gray, but he's lied to her from the start. If he pulls the plug on Mayhew Manor, the entire town may crumble. Ella couldn't save her parents, but it's up to her to save their hotel. Even if that means turning her back on true love.

100,000 words

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781426898518
  • Publisher: Carina Press
  • Publication date: 6/23/2014
  • Series: Shore Secrets
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition description: Original
  • Sales rank: 34,727
  • File size: 409 KB

Meet the Author

  • Christi Barth writes sassy, sexy and smart contemporary romances. She earned a Masters degree in vocal performance and embarked upon a career on the stage. A love of romance then drew her to wedding planning. Ultimately she succumbed to her lifelong love of books and now writes contemporary romance. Christi is lives in Maryland with her husband.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 5 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 12, 2014

    Up to Me by Christi Barth is the first book in her new Shore Sec

    Up to Me by Christi Barth is the first book in her new Shore Secrets series. I have read most of Christi’s books, as she is a master at writing sweet lighthearted romances, with wonderful couples, friendships and great secondary characters. Up To Me is no different. I really enjoyed this fast fun relaxing read that takes place in a small town, with all of its charm.

    Ella Mayhew is our heroine, and you immediately find yourself caring very much for her. Ella is the masseuse in the hotel she owns, since she prefers working in her spa, rather then running the hotel, Mayhew Manor, which was left to her by her deceased parents. I really love these books that take place in small towns, where everyone knows everyone’s business. After the tragic death of her parents, Ella went into a shell, doing her work and meeting with friends (the whole town loves her), with no ambition to take control of her life. Instead, she would always follow whatever her friends or townspeople advise her to do in a unique way that you have to read to understand. Cute.

    Gray Locke is our hero, and he has a secret. He is at the resort spying to get information and help institute a hostile takeover of Mayhew Manor, with Ella losing everything, and the town going down with it. But the moment Gray meets Ella, and she puts her hands on him and gives him a quickie (massage lol), he is lost. Gray begins to try to romance Ella, though he knows he will be there only two weeks, and soon he begin to have second thoughts about hurting her. Gray hates his job, but he needs the money to take care of his ill mother. What follows is a sweet charming romance, with a sprinkle of humor along the way. What happens when Ella finds out why Gray is really there? Will Gray do his job and help take away the hotel from Ella?

    This was a beautiful romance that was slow to build. Though both had lustful feelings for one another from the start, they decided to go slow and learn about each other. Christi did this so well, not rushing the sex, and allowing this romance to grow. Gray helps Ella become more confident and sure of herself, thereby becoming the leader that she was meant to be. But will she forgive him?

    I really enjoyed Ella’s friends, though many of them were a little too quirky for me. However, it was nice that they all stood by Ella, which is what real friendship is all about. This also added to the humor of the story. As the romance built to where they both finally succumbed to their lust, it left me anxious to where it would end. I loved both Ella and Gray, and to Christi Barth’s credit, I could not put down the book, as I needed to know what would happen. I wholly recommend you to read Up To Me, as it is a very nice romance, small town atmosphere, good storyline, great friends, and a great couple.

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  • Posted July 2, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Small-town pride rules deep in the first book of the Shore Secre

    Small-town pride rules deep in the first book of the Shore Secrets series. 

    Graydon Locke really had no idea what he was in for when he went on assignment to check out Seneca Lake’s beloved hotel. He didn’t know he would fall head-over-heels for the hotel’s owner, which really puts him into a super complicated situation. Gray and this town have their secrets, and secrets always make themselves known eventually, don’t they?

    I very much enjoy reading contemporary romances set in small towns. If done well the reader gets that feeling of being fully immersed into the setting, and that is what I got from Up to Me. I finished this book wishing and wanting to visit Seneca Lake. Christi Barth did an amazing job setting up the lovely scenery for this charming story.  I also love it when an author spends the time coming up with something creative, like the unique way the townspeople ask for and offer advice to one another. I was left with just the right amount of interest to want to know more about the other characters. I’m hoping to see their own stories play out in the next books. Who is next? I truly hope it’s maybe Ward’s story!

    Ms. Barth also made the quirkiness to the build up to Gray and Ella’s first date actually work for them. Their pairing had some pretty sweet tension and a unique factor as well, which I thought was very cute.  Up to Me is my first time reading something from Christi Barth. She certainly swept me away to Seneca Lake! This is a delightful start to a new series. *I was gifted a copy of this book.

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  • Posted June 30, 2014

    After being practically driven out of town because of his father

    After being practically driven out of town because of his father's actions, corporate hitman Graydon Locke loathes small towns. It doesn't matter how quaint, how heartwarming the town is, he wants no part. On assignment in upstate New York, Gray is undercover in the small town of Seneca Lake. He's there to learn about Mayhew Manor, specifically whether the company he works for should take it over. His first day there, though, Gray meets Ella, "just Ella", and is instantly taken with the pretty, witty massage therapist. The two quickly become close, knowing that their romance will only last as long as Gray's in town. That attraction continues to flame, and when Gray learns that "just Ella" is actually Ella Mayhew, the owner, it's too late to control the fall-out.

    Relationships formed under deception are always iffy for me. The premise is kind of great, and I love the conflict it creates. But I always have to worry if the powerful man will, in fact, help destroys his woman's business. This has actually caused many books and movies to completely lose me. I don't care how charming Tom Hanks was in You've Got Mail, he helped close Meg Ryan's business, and peeps, that ain't cool. Though this remains a question throughout Up to Me, I was still heavily invested in the story, assuming that a trusted romance author wouldn't do me that way.

    I was heavily invested in Up to Me because of the characters. I just couldn't help but like Ella and Gray. Ella is a woman who's struggling to keep her family's business afloat, and working to move forward in her life. Three years prior, Ella's parents were killed -in front of her- in a tragic accident. Due to conflicts in her future, she and her parents had a bit of a temporary strain in their relationship, and Ella feels responsibility. Because she feels her bad choices caused the accident, Ella consults "the journal" when she needs to make decisions. I'm not going to go into details on the journal, but I loved this touch to the story! The people of Seneca Lake lifted her up in her time of need and sorrow, and the kinship she feels with the community was very sweet.

    Despite his duplicity, I really liked Gray as well. Gray is a man with a complicated background, not one of his doing but one he's paid for regardless. He's in an awful position with Ella and his job, one he never intended to start. I actually felt sorry for Gray, knowing that he wants to help Ella, keep his job and support the one person he feels obligated to. He keeps his head and his integrity in this crazy situation, even though he feels enormous pressure from all sides. And oh, he does know how to make a woman melt.

    Of course, you know the big reveal is always around the corner, and when it did, I felt like my heart was in my stomach. The author did a nice job of making me feel equal sympathy for both parties. The fall-out was ugly, and I had no idea how the issues would be resolved in a way that felt believable to me. A good hero needs to grovel when he's done wrong, needs to earn his way back into good graces. I will say that I came out of Up to Me with a smile and iPad intact.

    Up to Me is a good start to the Shore Secrets series. Given that there are several interesting characters, we have great potential for the future stories. I'm crossing my fingers that Ward and Piper are up next!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 26, 2014

    I started reading UP TO ME the day it came out and quickly lost

    I started reading UP TO ME the day it came out and quickly lost myself in the world of Mayhew Manor, a modern-day castle on the shores of Seneca Lake in wine country. Let me tell you, I am dying to take a swim in the perfect-for-making-out rock-lined pool in the Manor, I would kill for a big cup of coffee at the General Store, and I WANT A GLASS OF WINE from the Manor vineyard. I also wouldn't mind some spirits from the distillery, owned by a small town hottie and excellent hero bait. Yes, indeed, Christi built an engaging small-town world, and I can't wait to visit it again!

    If you like your books heavy on the romance, you'll love UP TO ME. Although the hero and heroine indulge their senses and don't shy away from admitting the down-and-dirty realness of their attraction, the actual full-on naked stuff happened later in the book than I was expecting. At first I was impatient. The hero, Graydon Locke, is an amazing kisser. My mouth watered as I read the make-out scenes. I wanted them to do the deed! But then I was charmed by the old-fashioned, delightful romance going on before my eyes. *sigh* I kept racing ahead (because I'm a dirty bird) but I may have to read it all over again. Just so I can appreciate how well it was put together, anticipate the next books, and swoon over the truly perfect last sentence. Swoony romance, real heat, and a charming small town world make this a fantastic read!

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  • Posted June 23, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Love, Humor, Heat!

    When a normal undercover business assignment becomes the elephant in the room, Gray finds that not only has he found a good candidate for a business acquisition, but he has found the perfect LOVE acquisition for his heart. How far can he take this budding romance when he knows he is living a lie?
    Ella has nothing left in her life but the resort her parents left her, the resort that meant the world to them, that she never appreciated or wanted in her quest to be independent and blaze her own trail. The small town she lives in has its own quaint charm and that “everybody looks out for everybody” attitude. They also have a very unique tradition that means the world to Ella. Gray never had an idyllic childhood and his cold-hearted approach to business, life and relationships has finally met its match in the heat and passion of all things Ella. When the lies are revealed, how will the cards fall? What will this quirky town say about it? Will Ella’s shaky foundation be rocked back to its knees or will Gray find a way to turn fix the wrongs he’s been part of and embrace the ways of a small town?

    Up to Me by Christi Barth is an enchanting and mostly lighthearted read, no over the top angst, no overdone drama, just wonderful reading that tells a story of love between two people with ghosts in their pasts who come from two different worlds. She has created an almost idyllic world filled with small town charm that seems impossible to find today. Her characters are unique in their own way, while still being believable. Ella is stronger than she knows and quite possibly stronger than Gray in many ways.

    If you are looking for a romantic read that is filled with heat, humor, a little quirkiness and a good plot, not to mention a good set up for future romance, Up to Me will make for a nice summer escape!

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