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Friday, April 11, 2008

Review Home Style Lovin'

by Elizabeth Palmer

A betting man . . .

Sometimes Ty Clayton wins; sometimes he loses. But he never, ever gives up. A failed investment has forced him to work for his domineering father at mega-corporation TexAmerica. His can’t-fail assignment: the acquisition of Ike’s Home-Style Bar-B-Q, a popular but in-the-red restaurant in Angel Springs, Colorado. There’s just one problem, however—a big one in a size 6 package. The widowed owner of Ike’s, Anna McAllister, doesn’t want to sell. Not to anyone, but especially not to Ty Clayton.

A woman who plays it safe . . .

Anna McAllister doesn’t take risks: not with her business, and not with her heart. Riding herd on her all-boy son and cantankerous grandfather while fending off Ike’s greedy competitor, Porky Lundgren, keeps her too busy to think about sex, love, or romance. Until Ty Clayton roars into town on his Harley, that is. Then the memory of a stolen kiss, and his blazing dark eyes, ignite a desire like none she’s ever known. But will his past mistakes—and his current secrets—keep her from gambling on love?

Ike’s Home Style Bar-B-Q, a favorite eating place is Angel Springs, Colorado, is the desired prize sought by Ty Clayton of TexAmerica and Porky Lundgren, the local competitor of Anna who owns the establishment. An overt and covert tug-of-war begins.

HOME STYLE LOVIN’ teems with subplots that add intensity to the major plot. When Ty, an alpha male with charisma and a conscious, arrives in Angel Springs, life becomes even more complicated for Anna, a strong-willed widow who is almost TOO good.

Anna, her deceased husband, and Ty have a history from their college days—a history that didn’t end well. This past engenders a lack of trust and adds more stress to her already stressful situation that includes huge family responsibilities and a business in the red. Even though she and Ty work at cross-purposes, the sensual feelings they have for each other fail to be squelched. The feelings that had boiled up ten years ago at college, though dormant for ten years, began to simmer again.

The secondary characters enhance Ty and Anna’s story by creating little detours along the way. Some of these side trips are fun, some sad, and some are fraught with anxiety but each of them add depth to the story and help both Ty and Anna grow in many positive ways. When Ike, the eatery’s resident cat, uncovers an issue that must be addressed, Ty and Anna work together to meet the challenge.

HOME STYLE LOVIN’ is a joy to read. Love of family and friends shines through and becomes a major force in helping all these engaging characters meet and beat the problems life presents them. This mildly sensual romance with a sprinkling of sexual tension touches the heart.

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