Originally posted on Joyfully Reviewed: http://www.joyfullyreviewed.com/reviews/Sep09/neckandneck.EB.html
Professional party planner Natalie Beckett has one shot to make a go of her fledgling business and to do so she has to make society dame Clementine Hotchkiss’s Kentucky Derby Eve Fundraiser Gala a phenomenal success. But in order to make Clementine’s party the talk of the town, Natalie needs to convince reclusive billionaire Russell Mulholland to attend. There’s just one problem: a big, brawny, devastatingly handsome roadblock in her way – Russell’s head of security, Finn Guthrie.
Finn has learned since childhood to trust no one, especially not some party planner set on stalking his best friend. Sure, Natalie is temptingly gorgeous, but Finn isn’t about to let that distract him from his job of protecting Russell and his son Max. But Finn’s determination to ignore Natalie is about to be put to the test because Natalie will not be ignored.
Sparks fly in this enchanting read by Elizabeth Bevarly. Neck & Neck is fresh and fun with not one, but two romances that are sure to captivate. The first is Finn and Natalie’s love story. Their romance is a delightful case of opposites attract. It was entertaining watching the intractable Finn fall for Natalie when he was absolutely against the idea.
The subplot of Neck & Neck, however, captured my attention even more than the main romance. From the very beginning of the tale, Ms. Bevarly broke my heart with Russell, a widower with a teenage son who has been in a downward spiral since his wife’s death. I so wanted to see Russell find happiness and was so happy to see him fall in love with Ginny Collins, a single parent herself. Unlike Finn and Natalie who are truly different from one another, Russell and Ginny are a couple whom she perceives as opposites but are, in fact, more similar than Ginny realizes. Ginny and Russell’s romance grabbed my heart and didn’t let go, adding a great depth of emotion to Neck & Neck.
Alternately humorous and heartwarming, Neck & Neck was a wonderful, gripping read from beginning to end. This is the first book I’ve read by Ms. Bevarly and it definitely won’t be the last!