Format: .mobi (provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review)
Release Date: June 23, 2014
Ella Mayhew's always appreciated the beautiful view of Seneca Lake from the spa window of her family's hotel.But the view improves dramatically when a hot stranger runs across the grounds—shirtless. He's the first man to kickstart her hormones in the three years since she lost her parents, and she doesn't even know his name.
Graydon Locke's on his umpteenth undercover assignment. The routine's always the same: assess a business, recommend it for closure, then roll out before anyone discovers his decisions impact hundreds of lives. He's always believed nothing good comes out of small towns. Why would this one be different? Then he makes two classic rookie mistakes—falling for the sweet, sexy girl who owns the very business he's on the verge of axing. And letting the town's residents get involved in both his life, and his relationship with Ella.
Ella's the best thing to ever happen to Gray, but he's lied to her from the start. If he pulls the plug on Mayhew Manor, the entire town may crumble. Ella couldn't save her parents, but it's up to her to save their hotel. Even if that means turning her back on true love.
Author Christi Barth brings the charm of a small town romance while adding quite a bit of humor and conflict to make Up to Me an enjoyable, light read.
Graydon Locke’s job is to go undercover, assess businesses and if necessary, recommend it for closure, all while avoiding discovery by residents. He doesn’t seem to think much of small towns so when his job sends him to Mayhew Manor, a health spa, Gray thinks it will be a simple in, done and gone job.
Ella Mayhew has been through her share of tragedy. After losing her parents in an accident, she’s thrown herself into Mayhew Manor, the only thing she has left of her parents. The arrival of a handsome guest wasn’t in her plans but Ella can’t seem to resist the pull between her and Gray. Unfortunately she doesn’t know the real reason why he’s in town.
Up to Me proves that a romance novel doesn’t always have to be complicated and messy to be good. Sometimes a reader like me wants a steamy romance without too many obstacles for the couple. That’s what this book delivers.
While the “instant love” between Gray and Ella was a bit farfetched, it didn’t come close to the attitudes and involvement of the town’s residents. Now, I’m not a fan of over the top, nosy and meddling characters so having a whole town full of them was a little hard to get past. How Ella dealt with it without cracking some skulls is a mystery. That was a little too much for me. Other than that though, Up to Me was a lot of fun.
What I definitely want to point out about this book is that the romance between Gray and Ella isn’t always such a serious affair. Sure there’s attraction and sexual tension but there’s also goofy and funny thrown in to lighten the atmosphere and since I would put Up to Me in the “sweetly romantic” category, I recommend it for fans of light and sexy romance without graphic sex scenes or heavy conflicts.
Final Verdict: Fun and flirty, Up to Me is a book I would definitely recommend to fans of the light side of romance. The main characters are easy to understand and likable.