Skeptic scale: ♥♥♥♥
Loved this! This was my first Sarah Mayberry and I am SOLD. I have just picked up another few of hers and shall begin work on the backlist post haste!
This story was set in Australia. I recommend you read everything in an 'Strailian accent to maximize on your enjoyment.
He: N ice, sweet, ex-rock star/current music producer who's come to a little seaside town to lick his wounds after a particularly sucky divorce from his wife of 6 years. His divorce is still warm from the oven, having happened only a few months before, so he's not exactly in a place to be starting up with anyone else.
She: A high powered tv producer who is recovering from a horrendous car accident. She is having a tough time physically with her recovery but worse than that is that her spirits are also in tatters when she realizes there is the chance that she may not be able to get back to the job into which she had poured prior to her accident.
Conflict: The H moves into the cottage next door to hers and things don't begin well for the two of them. She's depressed and anxious about her future prospects and behaves like a cow whenever he tries to extend any neighborly goodwill. But then, as they spend more time interacting, they discover an attraction between them.
The trouble is that as much as they like each other, they are each in such a complicated situation personally (he is still sort of sore with all the issues surrounding his divorce, she is still trying to figure out how she wants to spend the rest of her life without her work) that the timing just feels all wrong.
What I liked:
1) H & h each have a dog. The pooches are much less slow than their owners about developing their doggy affection for one another. This could have been SO corny, but Ms. Mayberry dealt with these side characters with the respect due to their species. Awesome.
2) The Epilogue. OMG. Wait, before I oversell this I should say that I usually roll my eyes and feel annoyed at epilogues (mainly because they are ALL THE SAME - H&h still behaving like passionate honeymooners, baby/mini-me-in-the-making, perfect life, perfect friends, perfect perfect perfect (blech)). This one was still perfect, but it actually helped tie the story together and was a way of actually progressing the characters themselves and not just a way to show how the characters had achieved some sort of baby-house-perfection milestone.
3) The conflict was entirely believable and there were no unnecessary "misunderstandings". Everything was just laid out on the table and both characters behaved like sensible adults instead of loony, oversexed adolescents. I think I really like "the timing is off" books. It just feels like one of those conflicts I can really understand and find believable. I mean, we all have had those types of situations or know others who have. And I just find myself really getting drawn in because I can so easily see that happening in real life.
4) The writing was really fun! Witty and fast paced, and totally readable. I wanted to pick another one of Ms. Mayberry's up AS SOON as I finished with this one!
What I wondered about:
1) The h apparently did have family but I was a bit confused about why she was convalescing all by herself. Where were all her friends and family? No phone calls? No visits? I guess she was trying to grit her teeth and be independent and to power through all by herself. But it was still strange. I always get weirded out when a person is described as being so all alone. Does she even LIKE people?
In the end, not a big deal because she likes him and he likes her and that's that.