La Crimson Femme
Review: Hotshot by Julie Garwood
★★★★ @JulieGarwood #Hotshot
Now I'm all caught up with this series and eagerly anticipating the new book Grace under Fire to come out this summer. Sometimes it is nice to forget about a series for a decade and then binge-read all the books. These books can be read as a standalone. There are a couple of references to characters from previous books but it doesn't require in-depth knowledge. This is another winner for me. I loved the characters, the swimming element, and running a resort. This story is much more than these three themes.
Once again, I dive into this story cold without reading the blurb. I started it as soon as I finished Sweet Talker. The story opens up with three boys close in age that are filled with mischievous energy. These boys are high potential kids that are as the book states, "too smart for their own good". If parents and teachers can survive raising these boys into their adulthood without crushing their souls, these boys will turn into amazing men. When we fast forward into Present day, these boys have definitely become amazing men who are humble and with strong morals. Finn is the oldest and he's the one who had ties with Peyton when she was little. Their connection is light until they meet in person again, as adults.
I loved the romance part of this story. I appreciate seeing characters who aren't rich and famous, having it made for them. Peyton is barely making ends meet. Her first job out of school looks like a dream job until it isn't. Sadly, what Peyton experiences is not that uncommon. Ahead of the #metoo era, Ms. Garwood exposes the dirty sexual harassment many young and good-looking women face in the business world. Luckily for Peyton, she figures out a way to escape the harassment. Or at least she thinks she does only to find out she needs a little help from her friends. Specifically "Hotshot" Finn.
Finn is a dream boyfriend. He's a lawyer and an FBI agent. He even has Olympic gold medals in swimming. How is this even possible? Obviously, this isn't possible in real life. Well, that's not really true. Then we learn about real-life men like Jonny Kim - Navy SEAL, Harvard medical doctor, and now a NASA astronaut, all before he turns 37. What the hell? It makes me wonder if perhaps we aren't encouraging our children enough or providing them with the right environment to help them excel and be the best they can be. What happens if a child cannot decide what they want to do as a career? Do they have to choose? I see this in both Peyton and Finn. They started with one thing and ended up doing a couple of things. I love how Ms. Garwood shows there is no one way or right way.
Whilst Peyton is dealing with the aftermath of her first job, she is offered a chance of a lifetime to run a resort with her sisters. The problems that come up whilst trying to get the resort running are numerous. It brings such joy to me to see a day in the life of others. I love learning about what other people do. I appreciate authors who can bring mundane work of different occupations into a story and make it interesting.
There is a lot going on in this story and I enjoyed all of it. It feels hectic at times but I love it. It keeps me excited and riveted. I devoured this book and recommend it to readers who want their cake and eat it too.