Their competition has never been so irresistible…
The last person Ellie McDermott wanted to run into after returning to her hometown is Finn Donovan, her high school nemesis and the guy she crossed the line from enemies to lovers with one night years ago. Now ex-military, tattooed, and still sexy as hell, Finn is a complication Ellie doesn’t need—she needs to concentrate on saving her family business.
Finn’s entire life, Ellie was there, going head-to-head with him in every class, bee, and test. So it’s no surprise she’d show up just as he was about to take over her father’s struggling business. It is a surprise, though, that his attraction to her is even more explosive than it had been. Acting on their attraction is one thing, but Finn has to turn a profit to save his own family, and nothing—not even love-will get in his way.
Ellie McDermott returns to her hometown to care for her ailing father, and within 12 hours, her and frenemy Finn Donovan are doing what they do best… competing against one another.
Ellie’s father runs a funeral business, and expects his daughter to take over it for him. Ellie works for an ad company, and doesn’t know anything when it comes to being a funeral director.
Finn Donovan is also back in town, a retired marine with a degree in mortuary sciences. He is operating a funeral business of his own, and in such a small town, only one funeral business can stay afloat. He has his mother to worry about, a woman who just left her abusive husband and has come to live with him.
“She might have a Dad to consider, but he had a Mother to care for. He couldn’t let wayward hormones dictate how he negotiated.”
When Finn offers to buy the McDermott family funeral home, Ellie’s refuses his offer, needing the money herself to care for her Dad, and their competitive sides come out. It is all out war via billboard, competitive coupons, and sales pitches for prepaid funeral arrangements. But, Finn has a way of making Ellie feel beautiful, even when they were arguing… and just like when they were young, they use sex and competition to drown out all the bad things in their lives.
Problem is, only one of them is going to win… and what did that mean for the other one?
I enjoyed Her Summer with the Marine, by Susan Meier, very much. I enjoyed Ellie and Donovan, the funeral home staff, the Dinner Belles and all the townspeople in general. Susan Meier really caught the small town vibe in her story, and anyone who has ever lived in a small town would know what I mean.
I loved that the POV switched off between Finn and Ellie, allowing the reader to get into each of their minds. It made the story less one sided to see what both were thinking, often in the same scene!
This novel is completely different from other romance novels that I have read, because of the friendly competition. At times Finn and Ellie behaved more like siblings than competing business-owners-become-lovers. Were they not lovers you may have thought they were brother and sister.
And speaking of competition… Ellie drove me to drink a bit when she had her “do-over” with Finn. Always in competition mode, during sex she wanted to show him what she learned. *Sighs* Ellie, Ellie, Ellie…. You have a Marine on top of you, lay back and enjoy it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! *Slaps Ellie a dozen times*
My fist nearly went through my eReader.
One thing that bothered me about this story was that the Author referred to Finn as “ex-Marine.” UNLESS he was dishonorably discharged, Finn was a retired Marine, not ex!!!!! I know Finn isn’t a real character, but to refer to a retired Marine as an ex-Marine is disrespectful!!!!!!
The ending was anything but predictable. Susan Meier had me crying, big fat tears, and then cracking up hysterically as the story wound down. All I’m gonna say is it involved billboards. *Chuckles* I’m still laughing!!!!
I’m giving Her Summer with the Marine 5 very well deserved stars!
***I received an e-copy of Her Summer with the Marine from Entangled Publishing, in exchange for a thoughtful, fair, and honest review.
One of eleven children, Susan Meier was raised on a small farm in western Pennsylvania and attributes her love of stories and writing to lying in grassy fields staring at the clouds daydreaming!
Susan is an avid but terrible golfer, and a woman who desperately wants to learn to cook without having to involve the fire department. Her 2008 goals include getting involved with blogging—but hopes no one is holding his or her breath waiting for that—losing fifteen pounds—don’t hold your breath on that one either—and figuring out the financing for an ocean front condo in Virginia Beach. She swears she will wear SPF thirty sunblock and never subject anyone to the site of her in a bikini! (Unless asked—and paid…handsomely.)
Though in the city now, she still lives in Pennsylvania with her husband, three children and two very personable cats. Susan loves hearing from fans and can be reached through her Web site. –Harlequin Author Bio
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