This is going to be a very spoilery review – warning in advance!
Kate is an incredibly work-driven but lonely woman with a slight daddy complex – she’s very conscious of his opinion. She decides to go to a golf course/resort where rich, tall Yuppies hang out, to meet her ideal guy and get married. While there, she meets Jake – who used to fit all her requirements, but has since retired from being a high-powered tax attorney, invested all his money in his brother’s business, and now helps to run the resort.
So, I really wanted to love this one. It’s been recommended to me by other Cannonballers, and I was pretty addicted to Crusie. In some ways, it was very much what I have come to expect from her. There were wonderfully funny bits, with a heroine I could relate to. The first part of the book details Kate’s attempts at dating unsuitable guys – who all seem to end up with some injuries while dating Kate, some of which she inflicts and some which seem like fate telling her to move on. In between each date, Kate hangs out with Jake and enjoys herself thoroughly, relaxing and bonding.
After dates / encounters with approx 6 guys who end up getting stabbed in the hand or falling down a hill, Kate realises the sexual tension with Jake (incidentally, about 70% of the way through the novella). Kate and Jake promptly (really promptly, i.e. in the bar seconds after Kate realises her feelings) give into their chemistry, and have some very sexy times including an incident with a boat being sunk from enthusiastic bonking!
The necessary conflict is provided by their career issues. Kate wants a guy who is ambitious and enjoys his work, ideally someone driven like she is. He is conscious that she is very good at her job, and his small town cannot offer much to a management consultant (I think that’s what she is). He also really doesn’t want to return to the rat race of his old job, or city life. She is due to leave after two weeks, even though she loves the small town and has started waitressing at a local bar.
And then it’s all ok. They split up at the end of two weeks, miss each other a lot, and they magically resolve their career concerns when he starts trading stocks online and she moves to the tiny town and starts helping to manage her new friend’s bar. Eh, what??
Their relationship (though it sounds fast when I explain it) seemed natural, and the conflicts realistic. But they are solved too easily. After all the internal monologues from each character about how the other one could never be happy in this relationship without major compromise, it just.. falls away. It makes me want to follow up a year later to see if it all stayed smooth sailing (boat related pun, couldn’t resist!)
This doesn’t mean that I don’t want to try more Crusie, I just feel that the novella style may not be the best structure for her. I feel very sorry for letting down my fellow Cannonballers.