Peyton Lockhart and her sisters have just inherited Bishop’s Cove, a charming oceanfront resort. But it comes with a condition: They must run the resort for one year and show a profit—only then will they own it.
Peyton welcomes the challenge, yet has no idea how many people want to sabotage her success—including her vindictive cousins and the powerful land developers who have an eye on the coveted beachfront property. But when the threats against Peyton escalate into dangerous territory, she enlists the help of her childhood friend, FBI agent Finn MacBain.
Finn saved her life once before. Peyton has no choice but to trust him to do it again.
|Publisher:||Penguin Publishing Group|
|Product dimensions:||6.50(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.40(d)|
|Age Range:||18 Years|
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Read an Excerpt
Finn wasn’t ready to go inside yet. Beck would come and get him when it was time. It was warm today. The sun was shining, and it was at least seventy degrees, he guessed, maybe seventy-five. He and Ronan had spent a week working in Chicago where it had been around ten degrees every single day with crazy below-zero wind chills. The heat felt good on his face. He liked being outside, cold or hot, and he liked being home, too. It had been such a long time.
His cell phone rang, reminding him that he needed to turn it off before the ceremony. He saw who was calling and felt a wave of exhaustion. On-again off-again Danielle was trying to reconnect with him. He wasn’t about to get into that drama. He’d had enough, and he simply didn’t have the stamina for any more of her games. He declined the call and turned off the phone. He should go in, he decided, and was about to do just that when he saw her. The vision in blue. He watched her cross the parking lot and start up the walkway, her high heels clicking against the brick. He noticed her body first, of course. It was damn near perfect. The short, fitted dress showed off her curves and her long, gorgeous legs. Her stride was every bit as sexy as her body. The way she moved was sensual and seductive. She was absolutely beautiful. Her long dark hair, the color of midnight, fell in soft curls just below her slender shoulders.
She must have felt him watching her, for she suddenly turned and looked up the hill. When she saw him, she stepped off the path and started walking toward him. He wanted to swallow, but he couldn’t seem to remember how. He had never reacted to any woman this fiercely, this quickly. What had happened to his self-control? He excused his bizarre behavior by reasoning that she was no ordinary woman. He didn’t want to stare, but the closer she came, the better she looked. Beneath her thick dark eyelashes were the most beautiful, crystalline blue eyes he had ever seen, and her rosy lips were full and inviting.
She stepped directly in front of him and gave him a heart-stopping smile. The dimple in her cheek was sexy as hell. So was her scent, which was light and feminine.
Her eyes sparkled with laughter when she stretched up, kissed him on his cheek, and said, “Hello, Hotshot.”
He was speechless. Peyton Lockhart? He couldn’t believe it. She was all grown-up. She had gone from a skinny little girl to this beautiful woman with a devastating smile. When did this happen? The transformation seemed to have taken place overnight, but then Finn realized he hadn’t been around while she was growing up. He’d gone to California to do his undergraduate work at Stanford and had stayed there for law school. During that time his parents had downsized to a smaller, more energy-efficient home about a mile from their old house in Brentwood. Whenever Finn was home on break, he never had enough time to go back to the old neighborhood.
Finn overcame his surprise enough to speak. “Don’t call me Hotshot.”
“You didn’t know who I was, did you, Finn?” she asked, saying his name to placate him.
“I didn’t have a clue,” he admitted. He was still trying to get past his initial reaction and stop acting as though he had never seen a beautiful woman before. This was Peyton, the little girl who would sit on the front steps and wait for him to come home from high school so she could tell him about her day. She was a nuisance back then, and now a temptress.
“Are your sisters here? I won’t recognize them, either, will I?”
“Yes, they’re here already. I’m running late.”
Beck whistled from the doorway to get Finn’s attention.
“Aren’t you in the wedding?” she asked.
He nodded. “Yeah, I should go in. It’s good to see you again.”
Peyton didn’t want to miss the bride walking down the aisle. “It’s good to see you, too.”
It had suddenly become awkward, and she didn’t understand why. He wasn’t leaving. Beck whistled again, but Finn didn’t move.
“Are you going to the reception?” he asked.
“No, I’m afraid I can’t.”
“Maybe I’ll see you after the wedding, then.”
Peyton continued on, but when she glanced back, she thought it strange that Finn was still standing in the same spot.
Finn had walked down to the parking lot to get away from the noise. He was listening to phone messages and turned just as Peyton was approaching. He offered to walk her to her car.
“How come you aren’t coming to the reception?” he asked.
“I have to work,” she answered. She dug the keys out of her little clutch and hit the unlock button. Standing beside her car, she said, “It really was good to see you.”
“I’m sorry we didn’t get to—” He stopped. “When did you get this car?” he asked, staring past her and frowning.
“About a year ago. Why?”
Finn moved closer and squatted down behind the rear bumper. “These are bullet holes.”
“Yes, they are,” she agreed. She didn’t seem the least fazed. “I’ve got to get going or I’ll be late for work.”
He wasn’t about to let her leave. “They haven’t been here long.”
“The bullet holes?”
“Yes, the bullet holes,” he said.
He was asking questions so rapidly he wasn’t giving her time to answer.
“Yes, I was in the car. I was on the highway when it happened. He wanted me to stop. I didn’t know he shot at me until I was back in Texas. The holes are so low, I didn’t see them until a few days later. In fact, you’re the only other person who’s noticed them.”
“You couldn’t hear gunshots?” His voice was brisk, no nonsense. He was all FBI now.
Her hand went to her hip. “I was in the middle of a blizzard at the time. All I could hear was the howling wind.”
“Where exactly were you?”
“Northwest of Minneapolis. Finn, I’ve got to leave.”
She wasn’t going anywhere until she gave him a few more details.
“Who did you report it to?”
Peyton knew he wasn’t going to like her answer. “I didn’t report it.”
“Because you didn’t realize he was shooting at you.”
“But when you did see the bullet holes—”
She cut him off. “I didn’t report it.”
“Why the hell not?” Frustration made his voice sharp. “He could be out there now trolling for his next victim, and maybe this time he’ll hit the gas tank or, worse, the driver.”
She shook her head. “No, he won’t.”
“Did you get the make or model?”
“I have to leave.”
“No, you have to answer me.”
“You know what, Finn. You’re just as bossy and stubborn as you were when I was a little girl.”
“And you’re just as aggravating. Now answer me.”
She gave in. “It was a big white truck, and I know for a fact that he isn’t out on the highway looking for other victims.” Unless someone gets on Drew Albertson’s bad side, she silently added. She took a step closer. “And I’m not a victim. I took control of the situation and forced him to stop chasing me.”
“How?” he asked, trying to concentrate on what she was saying and not how sexy she was or how good she smelled.
“I sent him into a field. Actually, I sent him through a fence into a field.”
“How did you do that?”
“Some...intricate driving moves.” Slamming on the brakes and going into a spin that she was helpless to control could be considered an intricate move, couldn’t it?
“Intricate driving moves, huh?” he repeated, smiling.
“Yes,” she said. “He didn’t get hurt,” she hastened to add. “His car sank into the snow, and he was stuck. I pulled over to make sure he didn’t need an ambulance. I watched him get out and start pounding his fists on the truck.”
“You saw the shooter?”
Uh-oh. Too late, she realized she shouldn’t have mentioned that fact because now he was going to ask her another hundred questions. She decided to stop him before he got started.
“I didn’t get a close look at him, but I’ve got a good idea who he is.”
He seemed to take the news in stride. “Okay. Who is he?”
“His name is Rick Parsons, and he works for the company that hired me.”
He nodded calmly, but she noticed his jaw was clenched. “Since you never reported the incident to the police, he wasn’t arrested.”
“Why was he chasing you?”
“Because I left,” she said, evading the details. “They really hate it when you leave the company”—she shrugged—“so they shoot at you.”
Peyton thought he would think her answer funny, but apparently he wasn’t amused. She was sure he would have kept her there with his questions for the rest of the evening, or until he had the entire story, if a groomsman hadn’t appeared and told him he had to return to the church for photos.
Finn answered that he would be right there, then opened the car door for Peyton. Before he started back up the hill toward the church, he turned to Peyton and said, “We aren’t finished with this.”
What People are Saying About This
Praise for Julie Garwood
“The Rembrandt of romance novels.”—The Kansas City Star
“A trusted brand name in romantic suspense.”—People
“It’s [Garwood’s] timely subjects set against a timeless background that attract so many modern readers.”—USA Today
“If a book has Julie Garwood’s name on it, it’s guaranteed to be a meticulously written…and thoroughly engaging story.”—Sun Journal (ME)
“A must read.”—The Romance Reader
“Ms. Garwood excels at writing characters who endear themselves to readers.” —Joyfully Reviewed
“WOW, was I amazed at how good [Julie Garwood] is…just pure brilliant writing.”—Bitten by Love
“Garwood is a pro.”—Kirkus Reviews
“Red-hot romance [that] will keep readers engaged.”—Publishers Weekly
“[A] riveting page-turner.”—Library Journal
“A wonderfully exotic book with both grand characters and grand deception.”—The News-Commercial (Collins, MS)
“The talented Ms. Garwood keeps you enthralled.”—Rendezvous
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Please do NOT buy this book. If you really want to read it go to your local library. I love Julie Garwood and always purchase her books. This book was written with no thought. The characters are one dimensional and totally unlikeable.Plus there are so many people running around in my opinion is that they are there to fill pages. The plot is silly as well. Sorry, Julie, but a better effort is needed!
It was an okay book; the whole story had potential, but just fell short. I love Julie Garwood, but this book seemed VERY disjointed. I was very surprised and checked a couple of times that I was indeed reading her newest book. For example, it is mentioned a couple of times Finn has nightmares involving a specific person. However, we are never told who this person is, why Finn has this dream, or the connection. Is it his previous partner? A friend? And some of the interrogation scenes were a little unbelievable. It felt like, in trying to make the story suspenseful, Garwood tried to bring in different story lines so the reader would truly not know where the danger was originating. In reality, it seemed to make for weak character development and dialogue. If you can wait, borrow the book from your local library. But if you must, just know you really aren't getting the quality of writing as in Shadow Dance or the Ideal Man.
Hmm I didn't think this book was up to par. Garwood usually delivers a tighter plot with decent character development and fairly good sense of humour. This lacked all of the above. I wonder if the fact that this book tries to bring the topic of sexual harassment in the workplace to the forefront, played a role in those factors or the lack thereof. Perhaps Garwood was trying to give it a more serious tone. That might have worked if some of the scenarios hadn't seemed implausible. Things like a someone managing to find the heroine on a highway in a snowstorm despite her leaving at least a few hours ahead of him or the glaringly obvious 'mysterious' vandal. I won't even go into the tripe Peyton swallows about not being allowed to file a complaint about the harassment. Overall it was the inkling of a serious topic packed into the folds of a fluffy marshmallow read. I received a copy of this book via NetGalley.
Let me say that I'm not sure it deserved a 3 star but it did not deserve a 2 star either. The story was all over the place. I didn't feel like the H & H were together all that much to even develop a relationship. I understand that they knew each other as kids but had no contact as adults and we are very different people when we get older. The opening scene was great and I was really looking forward to the book but it just dragged. I miss the old Julie Garwood humor and fun that her earlier books displayed. I keep thinking that is can't be her writing these books. The last three have been terrible. Terrible is not a word that I would put together with Julie Garwood's name but they were not very good at all. I will however keep trying because she is my all time favorite author and I know she has it in her to write spectacular romance and will be eagerly awaiting her next one to see if it comes back.
Wish ms garwood would put out more books more often. Her english scotland novels historicals were amazing!! Wish she would write more of those.
At the age of 5 Peyton Lockhart's life was saved by Finn MacBain, the “bad boy” that lived next door. Since that day, Peyton has had a hero worship attitude toward Finn. Every day she would wait for him to come home to share her day with him until the day Finn moved away. Peyton still kept in touch via emails... and after Finn's gold metals in swimming Peyton started to call Finn "Hotshot". Peyton especially remembered the anniversary of the date Finn saved her life, she made sure she sent him an email that day every year. Years later Peyton has graduated from a renown French culinary school and was given the opportunity to become a food critic. But the job isn't what she expected and her boss is beyond womanizing...to the point of being dangerous. Obtaining proof of her bosses indiscretions puts a bulls eye on her head. Finn comes home to a family wedding where he is shocked by the beautiful woman that sets his desire on fire only to realize that same woman is his not so little Peyton. When Peyton's life is threatened, Finn comes running to the rescue. Even to the small beach resort Peyton and her sisters are trying to run. Finn is now with the FBI, he uses his contacts to enlists help in uncover the culprit behind Peyton's attacks. Is it someone trying to sabotage the hotel or Peyton's ex-boss? I found Hotshot a good story but a bit overloaded with to many story lines/directions. Peyton and Finn don't actually reunite until well into the book. When they do reunite their passion goes from smoldering to explosive quite rapidly. Hotshot delivered a wonderful escape from reality, provided a few good laughs and kept me entertained till the end. I received this ARC copy of Hotshot from PENGUIN GROUP Dutton in exchange for a honest review. This book is set for publication on August 6, 2013. Written by: Julie Garwood Series: Buchanan-Renard Sequence in Series: 11 Publisher: Dutton Adult Publication Date: August 6, 2013 ISBN-10: 0525953019 ISBN-13: 978-0525953012 Pages: 368 Rating: 3.75 Genre: Contemporary Romance Age Recommendation: Adult
I love all of julie garwoods historical romances but have really struggled with her contemporary romances. The characters are just too totally unrealistic for anything set in the modern world. Her characters are always soooo perfect that even any flaws she gives them are more endearing or cute than being a serious flaw. (Except when they act so nice or innocent that they seem more like the village idiot) Since I am able to enjoy historical romances in the same way I enjoy a fairy tale or a disney movie, it seems ok for that genre but for a contemporary romance, not so much. In fact, her plots and characters seem more suited for the disney channel than a book intended for mature women. Will not be buying another julie garwood book unless it is a histirical.
Peyton Lockhart seems like the most unlucky young woman in the world! Her career is exemplary, as she has graduated from a notable culinary French school, and she is immediately hired by a culinary magazine. Now before that, she could have written a book about all the loser dates she suffered through but she’s got a spunky attitude about it all and doesn’t let it break her formidable spirit! Now she wonders when she gets to her new job location why everyone in the office is staring at her with either pity or downright hostility. Turns out her new boss is sexual harasser of the worst kind and it doesn’t take Peyton long to discover she’s his next obsessive goal. But when she tries to do anything about it, things begin to turn very, very ugly! So imagine her surprise when Finn McBain shows up and takes an interest in her latest dilemma. For her old boss had his goons follow her by car and they are attempting to physically harm her. Finn is a childhood flame she loved whom she worshipped when he swam in the Olympics; he’s gorgeous looking, an FBI agent and obviously successful at everything he does. So what will it be like now an adult Peyton meets him and has to accept his help and possibly even more? And is he ready for more? Add to the plot an opportunity of a lifetime, the chance to co-own Bishop’s Cove, a summer resort, spoiled by her jealous cousin’s attempt to sabotage everything she does as a great cook and manager. Passion wears several faces in this crime, romance, and mystery novel all wrapped up in one intriguing story. Julie Garwood is a familiar, popular romance writer who knows how to mix up the spicy, flaming sex scenes with thrills of crime and life-death situations for any reader! Very teasing, sexy, funny, engaging, and smartly crafted! Enjoy every page! Well worth the cost!
I enjoy Julie Garwood's work and have read all her books. This is not a favorite though. It was missing the warmth and humor of her prior books. The plot was predictable, which I don't really mind in my romance, but it never really took off either. I was never really in suspense or felt pressure to get through a scene to see what happens. Will continue to read Garwood's books, but unlike other titles, will not be re-reading this one over and over.
Entertaining story, nice light reading
I liked this book, enjoyed the characters. However, the whole situation is improbable. Sexual harassers take their revenge on uncooperative victims by demoting or firing them. Attempted murder is a far reach. It did make for more excitement in the story.
Let me start by saying that Julie Garwood is one of my favorite authors and I will continue to read her books. That being said, I was left disappointed by this book. I felt like the story line was rushed. There were no surprises for me. I knew before I came to the end of the book what was going to happen. Ms. Garwood needs to go back to the beginning of the Buchanan-Renard series (Heartbreaker) and come up with the same kind of suspense she had back then. Also, I fail to see how this book is part of the Buchanan-Renard series when not a single Buchanan or Renard was mentioned in the book. If Ronan was the link, then it was a weak link. I gave this book three stars because even thorough it was not up to her usual works it still is an okay read.
Another great Garwood book. This book was great from the begining to the end. I love the humor she writes her her stories. Could not put it down!
You can't go wrong when you read julie garwood. Every book gets better and better.
I really enjoyed this story and all of the characters were very likebale.
Enjoyed the book...great story
I did not oder is book. Tracking it ..mmm...... found that I did no order it...... I found on line in this section I still have in my libary.....?......?????? Whats going on? NOT MUCH IT'S ONLY 33 PAGES
I like Julie Garwood's comtemporary books.
I enjoyed the verbal sparring between the main characters very much. Did not care if the plot was plausible or not. It was entertaining and the bad guys did not get away!