Why this One: I have a goal this year to read at least 100 books. In order to reach that goal, I'm going to be reading some series books. I can read them in an afternoon and sometimes I enjoy a nice quick read. I've read a few Warren books now with mixed results - some I've loved, some were DNF. But the ones that I loved, I loved enough to keep me reading this author. I was in the mood for something nice and light and since it was 25% off at Walmart.........
Steam Level: Well - it is a Blaze so it was quite toasty warm.
Blurb: Sexy bartender Johnny Santini mixes one wicked martini. Or so efficiency expert Natalie Fanshaw discovers when she takes a seat at his beachfront bar one lonely night. It's Valentine's Day, and they're the only single people in the heart-strewn place
Natalie knows she spends too much time with her spreadsheets--she's forgotten what it's like to be "between the sheets." Johnny is such a charmer, mixing his signature cocktails while making her feel s-o-o-o very special. And when he asks her to help him create a fab new drink for the town's upcoming martini contest, Natalie can't say no.
A fantasy fling with Johnny could be a recipe for disaster. But hey, she could always claim to be under the influenceMy Thoughts: I am very happy to report that Under the Influence falls under the 'Loved It' category! I enjoyed everything about this book.
Natalie was a fun heroine. A type "A" person is how she categorizes herself - a self confessed work-a-holic who carries her blackberry around with her everywhere, she does the unusual one evening and goes into a bar herself while on assignment in a tourist town. She is working as a management consultant at a local hotel. When she realizes it's Valentines day and everyone in the restaurant/bar is part of a couple, she strikes up a humourous conversation with the bartender Johnny. Although a bit uptight, she does unbend quite easily and it's cute to see her unbending throughout the book. She was a heroine who I really liked!
And Johnny - well he was just adorable. A surfer, sailor, laid back, environmentalist on the outside, there is more to him then meets the eye, although his main goal seems to be just enjoying life. He really *wink* makes Natalie's stay enjoyable.
One of the things that I really appreciate about this book is during the first love scene, Natalie calls a halt to things for the evening in order to think things through - weighing the pros and cons on what she wants to do. She's torn between her morals and really wanting Johnny.
And even though this is a series book, therefore shorter then a single title book, I found the characters very well developed. I've complained in the past that I thought with many Blaze books that they sacrificed character development for more sex - not so in this story. In fact there is even a believable secondary romance.
If anyone is looking for a sweet, quick read that will leave you smiling at the end I heartily recommend this book. Plus there is a wonderful bonus!! Since Johnny is a bartender who is trying to come up with an award winning martini, the start of each chapter has the recipe for a delicious sounding mixed drink - and there are a lot of chapters! I feel a stop at the liquor store coming on soon :)
Grade: 4.75 out of 5