Friday, November 1, 2013

SUNNY: ARC BOOK REVIEW "Roman Holiday 1: Chained" by Ruthie Knox

Ashley Bowman is having a bad week. Reeling from the death of her beloved grandmother, she returns to the Florida Keys only to learn that a heartless Miami developer has gotten hold of the crappy vacation rentals she calls home. Ashley has one day to clear out before Roman Díaz destroys the only place in the world that matters to her. Chaining herself to a palm tree in the bulldozers’ path seems like a good way to stop him . . . until she realizes she should’ve brought food and water. And pants. Also, it would help if the evil developer weren’t so ridiculously hot.

The last thing Roman Díaz needs is some sun-kissed blond protester getting her picture in the newspaper and messing up his plans. He bought the property fair and square, and the resort he wants to build on the site is the key to realizing his highest ambitions. But when a hurricane blows through, Roman has to hustle Ashley to safety if he wants to protect his reputation—and that means giving in to her unreasonable demands.

Roman needs to learn a little compassion, and Ashley’s decided to teach it to him . . . even if she has to drag him all over the Eastern Seaboard to do it.

Roman Holiday 1: Chained is the first book in a 5 part series from Ruthie Knox.  On the surface, it is a story of opposites being attracted to one another … well, at least there is a hint of that.  In this installment, it is about the opposites butting heads.  

Ruthie Knox captures a genuine emotion and flushes it out, something she does so well.   Ashley Bowman is reeling from the death of her grandmother.  This is a woman who became her bedrock after the death of her parents.  It is the grandmother who helped her climb out of her teenage angst and depression.  This is also the grandmother who sold her home (the one place where Ashley felt loved and safe) without telling her.  Roman Diaz, on the surface, is a self-assured, confident real estate developer with a bright future.  He was impeccably dressed and carries himself with upmost assurance, but beneath the surface, there is turmoil and doubt.  These two character meet when Ashley chains herself  to a tree in front of the rental home just as it is about to be demolished.  Roman is always present during the demolition phase of new projects and is confronted by Ashley's dogged, if not well thought out, protest.  He begrudging develops a respect for her and agrees to her terms for her surrender.  This will take them on a roadtrip where she will try to convince him to abandon his project.

Ashley is a lost soul manifesting itself as a flighty, ditzy character, a bit of a bohemian flower child.   We can see that she is also smart and genuine.  Roman is also a lost soul, having re-invented himself after a difficult childhood (something we only get a hint of in this story, but I'm sure will be played out in future installments).  They clearly have more in common than what we see on the surface and I’m looking forward to how this relationship develops. 

Oh my.  This book has a potentially high steamfactor.  I  can't wait until the next book. 

Thank you to the author, publisher, and Netgalley for the book in exchange for an honest review. 

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