Thursday, March 28, 2013

Review: Bungalow Nights by Christie Ridgway

Return to USA TODAY bestselling author Christie Ridgway's Crescent Cove, California, where the magic of summer can last forever…

Combat medic Vance Smith made a promise to a fallen officer: to treat the man's young daughter to an idyllic vacation at Beach House No. 9. One month, some sun and surf, a "helmet list" of activities to check off and Vance will move on. But the "little girl" he's expecting turns out to be a full-grown woman. With silky hair, big brown eyes and smelling sweetly of the cupcakes she makes for her mobile bakery, Layla Parker is irresistible. And Vance shouldn't lay a finger on her. Honor—and one heck of a scarred heart—says so.

To Layla, Vance is a hero who was injured trying to save her father's life. She intends to spend their month of lazy days and warm nights taking very good care of the gorgeous soldier—inside and out….

While Bungalow Nights is set in Crescent Cove, the hero and heroine are not in the core group of characters introduced in Beach House No. 9.  That may be the only reason I didn't enjoy the second book of this series as much.  

Vance Smith made a promise, one he intends to keep.  He's taking his commanding officer's young daughter on a beach vacation to Crescent Cove for one month.  He's not sure what he'll do with a child, though he's hopeful the little girl's mother or another female relative will tag along.  When Vance meets Layla Parker, he's not expecting a full-grown woman, so he has no idea how to proceed or fulfill his promise.
A new cast of characters are introduced -- Vance's cousin, Baxter, Layla's uncle, Vance's brother, Fitz, Vance's ex, who is now Fitz's girlfriend, Vance's parents, Addy -- and returning characters such as Skye, who manages Crescent Cove, Griffin and Jane.  Addy is onsite to study the silent films once made and produced on the property, and she becomes engaged in a mystery.  At times, the relationships are almost overwhelming; then again, I wanted to know more about Skye's skittish behavior more than I wanted to know about Vance and Layla falling in love.

But romance is a good reason to return to Crescent Cove, and I'm glad we will visit it a third time in The Love Shack.   

(A very special thank you to Harlequin and NetGalley for providing me with an ARC of Bungalow Nights.)

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