If you're like me, when you see a book described as a "romantic comedy" you run screaming for the hills. I've read some bad, bad, bad romantic comedy over the years and to this day I break out in a mild rash when I see a cartoon cover. I'm getting better though.
So I probably would have avoided Kathleen Long's November release, Cherry On Top had I not gotten it for free at RWA. Yes, I'm a freebie whore and I have no shame. So I figured hey, since I got an ARC from Zebra (I swear, I thought these were an urban legend) I'd review it. Glad I did - because it's really a fun read! Just the thing to cheer me up since I've been such a piss-pot lately.
Cherry Harte has just been left at the altar and, while sitting in her wedding dress, she discovers she's won the Super Lotto! Her newfound millions (which she's splitting with her sister) are just the thing to help her change her life for good. So bye-bye New Jersey and con artist family, hello Mystic Beach, Florida and Women's League. Now if only her past would stay buried everything would be perfect.
When her car breaks down Cherry makes the mistake of taking it to the sexiest mechanic in town. Luke Chance is a former reporter fallen from grace who has no patience for priveleged people with money - especially new money. Cherry reeks of new money, and Luke is allergic to cherries. However he can't seem to get the woman out of his mind - all the more worse since her Women's League is competing with his Youth Club for an abandoned local estate.
My main beef with romantic comedy is when the zany antics spill onto the characters rendering them stupid and clueless. Long provides lots of zaniness here - from a vertically challenged mobster to a surgical mask wearing, poker playing painter named Yogi to a pet poodle who keeps trying to romance a skunk. Luckily though she grounds her lead characters, making them nice people with their own issues.
Cherry needs to learn that sure you can improve yourself, but you can't fundamentally change who you are. Luke needs to learn to not paint everyone with the same brush - a common afflication among romance heroes, but luckily Luke isn't a raging asshole about it like most.
I liked this book. It was fun. Sure it isn't going to change my life, or effect me on a deep emotional level, but I had a good time reading it. Sometimes that's all it takes to make me happy.