I love it when I get a hold of a book with a really strong voice to it that drives the pace, the plot and the characters. This one felt so raw and tumultuous as it built to that grand finale ending. The title truly is apropos.
Lily is an agoraphobic woman with fears that involve being prepared for various natural disasters. She left her job, friends, home and what was left of her family back in NYC to come here to this small house on the Cape- the only place she and her mother had been happy. Unfortunately, the little home is falling down about her ears and she wants it ready for the hurricane season. This brings her to hire Cliff Buckley a local contractor to do all the necessary repairs.
Cliff takes the job with plans to bank enough from this last job for the summer to spend time writing his book. Cliff hates working for these elitist types who toss money and demands around when they descend on the Cape, but its good money so he takes it. From the moment he sees Lily, all those angry thoughts toward the spoiled rich all stir to the surface and focus on the woman he thinks is ice cold. His anger is reciprocated and they spend the next several weeks hating each other until one unexpected erotic moment punches through their anger and turns their emotion into something different- something unexpected.
When they start really working at talking and listening to each other beyond preconceived notions, they both discover real people who are bruised and hurting. Lily wonders if Cliff will even like the Lily she is beneath the ice and anger. Cliff is concerned that Lily will never show forth who she really is even with his help.
My impressions of this story are mixed. Whereas the story really reached out and grabbed me with all its emotions and power, there is a part of me that wasn’t comfortable with all the anger and pain. I was a bit bruised and low in spirit after dealing with the main characters’ angst and the social/political issues that saturated the backdrop of the story. Now this reaction is on me because I am an escapist reader (feel good stories) when it comes to my pleasure reading, so it might not even be an issue for those who lean more toward substantial literature for their pleasure reading.
I found the physical descriptions of the characters and the growth arcs something refreshing in that they are average looking people and they are flawed people. I liked that I got both their perspectives that alternated throughout the story.
Breaking it all down to its bare bones, I could see that Cliff and Lily were really angry over personal loss and transferred it to other things and people. I know people don’t always handle their anger rationally, but I felt this was extreme on both their parts. On one side, I don’t mind an ‘enemies to lovers’ style romance, but on the other these two were hateful to each other with little or no provocation other than notions about economic-based class system. I’m not even sure I liked either of them much though I softened when they finally set all the drama aside and just tried to get to know each other. In the end, I still enjoyed the story. I liked seeing them battle through their issues and come together for the beginning of what promised to be a good solid relationship.
The novella will appeal to those who enjoy strong personality types in their hero and heroine and those enjoy Contemporary Romance.