About the Book:
When resort developer Cameron McNeill goes undercover to root out problems at his prized island property, his first discovery is the irresistible concierge, Maresa Delphine. Her business smarts are vital to his mission. But the struggling single mom could help with his personal mission, too: fulfilling the marriage terms of his grandfather’s will.
Maresa is overwhelmed caring for her infant niece and tending to the demands of the resort’s sexy mystery guest. When he reveals himself as the owner, she’s thrown for a loop. But when he proposes…can she resist his brand of trouble in paradise?
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I Really Want to Like it, But...
Again, as much as I wanted to love the book, I could barely grow a fondness for the story.
Cameron is a sweetheart by nature, and his characters is well fleshed out. I liked him.
Maresa (she called herself Maria once, I believe) is an okay character, personality-wise, but her physical description confuses me. The way Cameron describes her, I can't tell if she's brown/caramel skinned like a native Islander, or if she's just tan. So, I spent the book wondering how to picture her.
The biggest issue I had with the book was how it completely lacked a critical moment--that moment when the relationship the two MCs are building is put at risk. Everything just flowed evenly, with little depth or emotion. I wanted to feel the angst and fear Maresa was feeling after having a baby dropped in her lap. Sure, I read that she was upset and overwrought, but I didn't feel it.
The third plot bubbling beneath the other ones was the "Other McNeills" which has been part of the overarching series plot since book two. I'd hoped for a fleshing out of these new brothers, but we were left with basic information and not a first time meeting. Cameron went to the island to meet them, and then, one sex scene with Maresa later, we find out he only looked at the building where they lived. Lame. I wanted to know more of how Cameron personally felt in that moment, being so close to his blood brothers and yet so far. Also, what about Maresa's father? Don't mention him so much if you aren't going to follow that line of emotion/backstory to it's critical point. I was left holding the "her father needs an ass whooping" bag.
Also, the whole secondary plot about the secret beach meetings fell flat with the off-screen resolution. It was a wasted opportunity to bring a little friction into the story that was obviously missing from the plot.
I love Joanne Rock, her books are wonderful time killers. I just wish this series was a little more...emotionally tangible.
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