I received this from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I enjoyed Island Fling with the Tycoon so much. It was my first Therese Beharrie book and I look forward to many more.
Piper Evans flies from her home in Cape Town, South Africa to the Greek Islands to attend her older brother’s wedding. Piper and her brother, Liam, survived growing up with a very controlling father and have not been close as adults. She had not felt like she could afford to travel and stay on Mykannos, but her concerns were waved away by the bride’s older brother insisting on paying for her accommodations. Because she does want to be closer with her bother, she accepts the offer and takes the time to attend. But, she isn’t happy about it.
Things don’t get off to a great start when she arrives at the airport and finds no one there to greet her. Except there’s a very grumpy looking man standing around with a sign for a hotel at which she is not staying. Of course, it turns out to be her soon to be sister-in-law’s older brother, Caleb Martin, the tycoon in question. They are embarrassed/mad at each other about standing around for a half hour. They get further on the wrong foot when they see her brother run away from his sister and hop a boat from Mykanos to Santorini.
Piper and Caleb decide to go look for Liam and head for Santorini the next morning. Caleb is several years older than his siblings, and raised them after their father died. He is used to fixing their problems. Piper isn’t sure if he’s used to being in charge or controlling, but she is sure that he is overly involved in his siblings’ lives. The prickly pair uneasily fall in love while Piper tries to be vulnerable while not repeating past mistakes, and Caleb tries to figure out how to prioritize himself and let his siblings be adults.
Beharrie does a great job of painting complex, nuanced characters. I couldn’t help comparing this book to my memory of category romances I read in the late 80s and 90s. Beharrie’s characters are so grounded and un-glamorous (but not unstylish) that they are worlds away from the slick jetsetters romanticized 30 years ago. I appreciated that Caleb was just a guy rather than a local celebrity. no one fetishized his money. Caleb’s money greased some wheels and made life more comfortable, but it didn’t solve any real problems. This was a good read.