I’ll start off this review by saying I’ve not read anything else by Jill Shalvis, but if this book is an indication of her writing…it doesn’t encourage me to try another book. I picked this up based on the cover blurb: When she gets left at the altar, city girl Breanne decides to go on her honeymoon alone. She ends up snowed in at a Sierra mountains lodge, then discovers that her room has been double-booked, and she ends up sharing with burned-out cop Cooper Scott. Things go from bad to worse when Breanne finds a dead body. I was expecting a murder mystery, and ended up with a ridiculous insta-lust story with two people I found I didn’t care about, and very little mystery.
At the beginning, Breanne is escaping from the humiliation of being jilted for a third time – arriving at the lodge in one of the worst snowstorms ever after a horrible flight, losing her luggage and not being prepared for snow (even though she knew it was in the mountains?). The lodge is dark and no one is there to welcome her, so she fumbles around and makes her way up to the honeymoon suite. Now this place is huge, and seemingly without other human inhabitants, and she’s spooked at every little noise. She gets to the suite, finds it well stocked with condoms and a neon pink vibrator but then hears the shower running – lo and behold, there’s also a naked man in the shower! Now Breanne has sworn off men after the jilting, but she ogles him just the same until he notices her. Does she stay and talk to him? No, she drops the vibrator and runs back down the stairs, and then the lights go out.
The naked guy is Cooper Scott, who was under the impression he was the occupant of the lodge for the week. Someone has messed up the bookings, and he’s just as surprised to see Breanne as she is to find him. He’s been without a girlfriend for some time, and his libido is instantly aroused by her and he grabs some jeans and chases after her, as you do. Except now the house is dark, as well as cold, and he has to use the vibrator as a flashlight (it lights up). Then the staff begins to make an appearance, without any explanation of where they were before or why they haven’t prepared the lodge for guests, even though it was booked. There’s Dante the butler, who looks more like a gang member; Shelley the cook; Lariana the maid who wears four inch stilettos to work in, and Patrick the handyman. So we have this slightly strange cast of characters, all stuck there due to the massive snowstorm, which could be interesting…but it’s not.
Breanne is the most irritating character I’ve come across in awhile – she’s been spoiled rotten as the only girl with four brothers, and a father she wrapped around her finger from birth. She’s flighty and irresponsible and a complete scaredy cat of the highest order. Every sound, every thump, every creak sends her running into Cooper’s arms (or bed) even though she vows she’s not interested in him. But there’s always some sexual innuendo in their conversation, or he’s doing his best to get her naked, or something of the same nature. Eventually she wants him to have sex with her so he can rate whether it’s the sex that is driving the other guys away…yeah, like that’s a good idea.
Eventually there is a dead body discovered – the manager of the lodge, dead in the wine cellar. Now it’s obvious that someone there has done the deed, but still they all carry on with their sexy times. Breanne thinks someone was standing over her bed once, and there’s some shadowy references to someone hiding but it’s all rather vague. I slogged through gratuitous sex scene after sex scene to get to the ending, and it turned out to be a pretty boring resolution. And Breanne and Cooper lived happily ever after…
Note – the cover of the book I got from the library was nothing like the one pictured here or I might have had a clue (ha!) that it was just a lusty romp. The book I had showed a maze with a heart in the center. I think Ms Shalvis was going for a wacky mystery with quirky characters, but Miss Marple wouldn’t touch this one with a ten foot crochet hook.