My dear friend Anne Whitfield is an EPIC Finalist for 2011 with her contemporary romance, Hooked on You. As a tribute to her, who has been a boon to my own writing and is always there to bounce ideas off, I reproduce here my review of that lovely story and wish her every success in the final round of the competition.
Hooked on You, is a story of every single twenty-something young woman approaching thirty who feels their life is going nowhere. Katie is all those things and after telling her lecherous boss to shove it, she takes a job with a sports magazine reporter who needs a PA with no ties to travel with him and handle his paperwork.
Having never seen this man, Katie feels it's hardly relevant whether they will get on or not. The fact she has nothing to tie her to London, no life, no boyfriend and her best friend is trying to make up her mind whether to accept a proposal from Mr Perfect, is the ultimate confirmation Katie has nothing to look forward to. So expecting little from this new job but a chance to get away, Katie packs her case and heads up to Cumbria.
However Liam Kennedy is not nothing, he's a thirty-something drop dead gorgeous hunk whom Katie is besotted with on sight. He is kind, thoughtful, and persuades her to go fishing, hiking and horse riding with him - hardly pastimes for a dyed-in-the-wool city girl, but she follows like a lamb just for the chance to stare at him. And enjoys it.
When a couple of close will-he-won't-he-kiss-me encounters go disastrously wrong - Katie makes up her mind. She cannot work with a man she has fallen for, especially when he seems quite indifferent to her - so she must leave her perfect job and return to London and her single life or risk turning into a lovesick old maid. However, when she takes steps to act on her decision, things change.
Anne Whitfield's story is beautifully written and her character, Katie has a wicked sense of humour, mostly disparaging herself. So although you feel sympathy for Katie's lack of self-esteem, you can laugh with her too as she's so lively and sharp-witted with only a smidgeon of clumsiness.
I have read several of Anne's historical romances and loved them, but this novel surprised me with the author's versatility that puts us squarely in the present. A must read on a sun lounger with a cool drink beside you.