Tuesday, September 05, 2006
Gotta Cut Loose - FOOTLOOSE!
But keep on them Bellagio Shoes. Yeah, that was my attempt at channeling the song Footloose by Kenny Loggins . I did a horrible job, but I gotta tell you - Leanne Banks nails it with her latest release Footloose . Before I begin today's review, I have a few confessions to make. Confession # 1 - I actually read two other books before this for reviews but I loved this book so much I had to review it first. Confession # 2 - This is NOT the first time I have gushed about Leanne Banks and Confession # 3 - This will, much like my last review, be a total Fan Girl Squee Fest. I'm thinking I should make my own little alert symbol for that, because the list of authors who cause me to give a FGSF is getting l - o - n -g, dear readers! Plus, Leanne holds a special place in my heart because I've won one of her contests and she threw in extra stuffs for little ole me, and that was just too cool. I don't win much (can't say never since obviously I have now won sumpin') so the fact that she made it extra special for me was great! With all of that said........ON WITH THE FGSF - I mean review.
Footloose by Leanne Banks - (Back Cover Copy) Even on a tropical getaway, a girl's got to watch out for the sharks... Think working for a leading international shoe company sounds like a dream job? Not if you're Amelia Parker, an overworked, downtrodden temp working for Bellagio, Inc.'s grande dame, Lillian Bellagio. But things are looking up for Amelia. She's just been given the assignment of accompanying Ms. Bellagio to her estate in the Keys. Trading pumps for flip-flops and a cell phone for a conch shell - could be worse, right?
Especially when life on the island includes her very own misery man - one Jack "The Shark" O'Connell, dashing venture capitalist. He dares Amelia to use this time to do something wild: drink a hurricane, go skinny-dipping...Have an affair with a dangerously attractive man. Now Amelia will have to decided whether to step into that glass slipper.
Okay now, I just had to look up the word downtrodden in the dictionary, because I thought I knew what it meant, and that is a word I would not use to describe Amelia in this book. And now that I looked up the meaning, I still wouldn't use that word to describe Amelia. Heartbroken? Yes. Downtrodden? Not so much.
You all know how much merit I put into Back Cover Copy anyway (translation: I pay the stuff as little attention as possible because they hardly ever get it right) and truth be told, the first time I even looked at it was to type it above. I didn't need anything to sell me on this book, I was already sold. I loved the first books (Feet First and Underfoot ) that were set in the world of Bellagio Shoes, so I would have read this book if it simply said - Girl meets boy and BAM. Seriously.
Amelia Parker is Bellagio, Inc.'s super temp. She is assigned to whatever department that needs her and she solves their crisis de jour. She is great at turning chaos into order. This is how she finds herself in the Florida Keys working as Lillian Bellagio's assistant. Bellagio needs some one that can appease their toughest board member. Fresh from her third and final break from Will, her long term (and I mean since elementary school, long term) fiance, Amelia decides to use her time in paradise to transform her life. As she sits in a Tiki Bar drinking a Hurricane and working on her New Life To Do List, she meets Jack O'Connell.
Jack O'Connell is in the Florida Keys to wrap up some business of his own with Lillian Bellagio. As he sits at the bar sipping a Corona he sees Amelia working on her list and is compelled to meet her. Noticing her wallet sitting on the ground he seizes his opportunity to talk to the most interesting looking woman in the place. Jack is most delighted to learn that the fascinating woman with her list, just happens to work for the same woman he is brokering a deal with. What could possibly be wrong with having a little fun and getting some valuable company information at the same time?
For their time in the Key's Jack helps Amelia with her list and makes sure that most of his additions include the word naked. Amelia is different from any woman Jack has ever known. He knows that she just came out of a long term relationship and he knows that this should just be temporary. Just as Amelia knows that Jack should just be her temporary fling to get her world turning on its axis correctly again. So why is it that when Jack has to leave they both find themselves missing the other.
In fact, Jack has to leave to take his seat on the board at Bellagio. When Jack realizes how much he misses Amelia, he makes it possible for her to get a promotion and get herself back to Bellagio headquarters and closer to him. As soon as Amelia arrives back, she sees Jack and is instantly angry with him for letting her be the mole the company suspects he has. She feels betrayed and used. Jack realizes it is going to take some doing to get her back in his bed and in his quest to win her over again, they both realize they need each other.
The ending of this book was Romance at its best. Every girl will wish she had a Jack when she reads the ending of this book. Leanne did it again and I am in awe. Not only was this book HOT HOT HOT it was sweet in the sweetest of ways.
What was so interesting about this book for me was, it felt much more like Jack's story than Amelia's. The book is written in 3rd Limited (which you know I love) and most POV is Amelia's. But the growth and pain that is Jack's just stole my heart. My only regret that I read this book is in knowing it was the last book to be released that deal with the world of Bellagio Shoes. I love reading books that have ties to each other. Every book of the three is a stand alone and they indeed stand alone quite nicely. But, it is so neat to read a book and see the hero and heroine from a previous book resurface. It is like reconnecting with a good friend and getting to catch up with their lives.
I really enjoyed this book and I know you will too! So what are you waiting for? Go read it now! I know I will have it in the re-read pile!