I read Kat French’s The Piano Man Project last year and loved it. You can read my review here: The Piano Man Project. I loved that Hal was such a flawed hero and he’s a character who has stayed in my mind. I suspect Robinson Duff could be joining him. Robinson is perhaps a more conventional hero, an American country music star holed up in a manor house in a small English village after his marriage has fallen apart. Tanned, fit and totally gorgeous, he is adored by his fans the world over. Alice, whose house he is renting for the summer, has no idea who he is and could do without any more famous people hanging around after her film star husband, Brad, recently left her very publicly for another woman. Naturally, sparks of attraction fly between them and with an agreement that this is nothing more than a holiday romance – “I’m lonely, you’re lonely, we both know neither of us is emotionally available” – they begin a very passionate affair.
I just loved reading about the relationship between Alice and Robinson. Alice’s husband Brad sounded like a total creep and she really deserved to have some happiness. Her marriage had left her with “no self-worth….no self-confidence” Robinson was clearly a much more caring and thoughtful man, as you could see from a romantic, tender gesture involving a bath even before they got together. It had me thinking ‘nice touch cowboy’, good way to a woman’s heart though a luxurious bubble bath. Alice and Robinson’s relationship was so passionate and certainly made it a long HOT summer as well as a sizzling read. Theirs was a bit of a fairy romance – he even calls Alice Goldilocks – but could there be a fairytale ending? Alice’s life was England in her beloved Borne Manor whilst Robinson’s life was in the glittering country music scene in Nashville.
The setting of the village and Borne Manor was great too. Kat French has filled her book with lots of wonderfully quirky characters as well as some lovely friends for Alice. You saw the best and worst of village life. The close knit community was friendly, supportive and protective of Alice and rallied round to give Robinson the privacy he wanted. But there’s always someone who isn’t as supportive and soon all that Robinson is trying to leave behind him comes knocking. I must mention Stewie, an ex-porn star from the 70s whose anecdotes often had me snorting out loud with laughter. And Rambo is another memorable character known for interrupting people at very inopportune moments, repeating things he has overheard often with very funny consequences, until he repeats what he has heard to the village gossip. Alice is faced with some difficult decisions throughout the book – “Did she want to drink beer with the half naked and totally gorgeous superstar hiding out in her manor? Oh go on then!”. Kat French does a brilliant job of describing just how totally gorgeous her male lead is: “His faded red t-shirt did nothing to hide the strength of his shoulders and deeply tanned biceps and the fine downy hair on his arms had been burnished gold by sunlight. He wasn’t model-hot. He was healthy, real-man hot”. There were several rather lovely descriptions of Robinson and I will never look at a tool belt the same way again!
As I was getting near the end of the book, I couldn’t wait to find out what would happen between Alice and Robinson but I also didn’t want it to end. Grab yourself a cold beer, stick on your favourite country music and, as Robinson might say, kick back and relax. This is definitely a book to add to your summer reading list!
Thanks to publishers Avon for allowing me to read a review copy of this book via Netgalley. One Hot Summer will be published in paperback and as an ebook next week on Thursday June 2nd. You can pre-order your copy here: One Hot Summer
What the book’s about
Being married to a celebrity isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, especially when that celebrity has a very public affair with his co-star…
Alice McBride is determined that the one thing she won’t lose in her marriage breakup is Borne Manor, her beloved home, but she gets more than she bargained for when she rents it out for the summer and a sexy cowboy comes to stay.
Country music star Robinson Duff has had his own share of heartbreak and needs somewhere quiet to hide out for the summer. Neither Alice nor Robinson are in any position for romance; the timing is terrible and they’re both rebounding like out of control frisbees.
Can a holiday romance help mend their broken hearts. Or will it just make things even worse when the long hot summer comes to its inevitable end?