by Torie West

May 2003
Reviewer Graphic Button Fantasy Romances

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In Fool for Love, Chayleen Walker has inherited her large family home in a town thatís small, but growing. Heartsick over the death of her parents, she not only resists the thought of giving up the property, she wants to do something that would be a memorial to her folks, something they would like to see done with the place. Without any experience but with a knowledge of the area, Chay recognizes that a B & B would fill a niche. Her Aunt Kate is against her taking on such a large task, but Chay is determined not to sell her home.

Quite by accident, just after being turned down for a business loan, Chay meets Travis Cutter, a painter and contractor. She asks him for an estimate on getting the old house painted and readying it for guests. Travis is late for their appointment, so Chay settles into a bubble bath, which is where Travis finds her some time later. Needless to say, the bubbles have dispersed. Travis is amused, but Chay isnít. Sheís already been hurt by one man and is not ready to trust another.

More horrible than being found in such a compromising position however, is Travisí estimate of what it would take to get the house in order. Much more than the paint touch-ups Chay had considered, Travis points out needed repair work and major improvements, like bathrooms. He suggests a partner; she says no. In the end, Travis himself becomes her partner.

Turns out, Chayís Aunt Kate had asked Travis to talk to the bank on Chayís behalf and their chance meeting wasnít chance at all. Turns out, Chay is right about the growth of the town and a major hotel is planning to build in the area. Turns out, the chemistry between Chay and Travis grows the longer they work together. Turns out, thereís a big secret Travis is keeping that could change everything.

I like Tori Westís writing style. The story flows well. Travis comes across as a caring, competent adult and successful businessman. But he tells Chay several times to grow up and thatís good advice for her. Quite beyond youth is her changeable personality. Travis says, Iím getting mixed signals here. Do you want to slap me or seduce me? I found myself in agreement. After he finds her in the tub, she throws aside the opportunity to cover herself, then wonders why he follows her to her room. After telling him in no uncertain terms that heís to be a silent partner, she rails at him for being just that, over and over. Frankly, I thought she needed a few yearsí maturity before she deserved someone as nice as Travis. Add to that, I didnít really see evidence of love, just chemistry, until the end of the book.

Physically, I was surprised by the bookís aesthetics. Itís adorable, with little flowers and a homey feel to each page. If I might make a suggestion though, I found red print on a salmon pink background to be hard to read. But it was a nice touch.

Reviewed in June 2003 by Kris.

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