Sunday, January 8, 2012

Contemporary ARC Review: All I Want Is You by Sherill Bodine

ALL I WANT IS YOU by Sherill Bodine
GENRE: Contemporary
PUBLISHER: Forever (January 1, 2012)
ISBN: 9780446584357

Vintage boutique owner Venus Smith is stunned to realize her newest acquisition comes with a larcenous legend. Stolen years ago, the antique mermaid brooch belongs to the Clayworth family. The right thing to do would be to return it, but that means facing Connor Clayworth O'Flynn, the sexy department store heir Venus has had an unrequited crush on since childhood---and the man who helped ruin her father.

Connor knows that Venus has never forgiven him for what happened between their families. But business isn't personal, even thought Venus's father's betrayal still cuts him like a knife. So when Venus proposes a deal---she'll return his family's brooch if he helps clear her father's name---he reluctantly agrees. As action-packed days turn into flirtatious fall nights, it isn't long before old memories resurface...and new desires ignite. Can two young lovers leave the past behind? Or must they first admit that all they've ever really wanted...was each other?
Where To Find Sherill: Author Site | Facebook | Twitter
Where To Buy: Amazon(pb) | Kindle | B&N(pb) | Nook

I loved it.
Other Books In Series:

Poor Venus Smith, unlike her name, she feels like she's no goddess. She's been in an on-again, off-again "relationship" with a guy named Brad, her father's been accused of embezzlement at the company he's worked for all his life, she has weird feelings for he man who fired her father and there's just something not right about the brooch she found in the closet of Connor Clayworth O'Flynn's aunt.

Venus runs a store with her sister Diana called Pandora's Box where they sell vintage jewelry and clothing donated or on consignment from some of the well to do residents of Chicago. Her latest acquisition from an old family friend, Bridget O'Flynn, turns her whole world upside down. After a closer look at the piece, Venus realizes that the mermaid brooch is the real, honest to god, one-of-a-kind that was made for Clayworth's Department Store years ago.

Connor feels betrayed by Venus's father, Alistair due to the fact that he funneled money from the company. It was Alistair's signature on the papers, but something doesn't seem to add up. Venus is on a mission to clear her father's name as well as get to the bottom of who stole the mermaid brooch all those years ago and trying to patch up Bridget and Tony's relationship. (Backstory: Tony gave Bridget the brooch but it caused a rift between them. Tony continued to go the Taylor Street (known for an underground gambling den) but Bridget turned a blind eye. When Venus tells them that it's the real thing, another rift is torn between Tony and Bridget.)

Connor wants to get the brooch back from Venus, going as far as lying to her and telling her that Bridget wants it back. Venus refuses to give it back until she figures out a way to lure the thief and clear her father's name. Apparently, there's a connection somewhere. Venus lays out a plan, a truce of sorts, with Connor but doesn't count on falling for him.

Connor can't believe he's going with this cockamamie scheme that Venus has cooked up but he'd do anything for family. Or so he tells himself. Between his mother throwing women at him, his aunt and uncle fighting and not talking, suddenly having feelings for Venus and feeling betrayed by one of the men he looked up to, Connor must sort it all out and realize that it's okay to show emotion even if it's been ingrained into you that emotion is a weakness.

Venus is as stubborn as they come. Once she sets her mind on something, she won't let go until it's done. Clearing her father's name is her number one priority. At least it is until she ends up digging out old secrets in the form of a mermaid brooch in a closet. She must now get Bridget and Tony back and figure out who stole the brooch. After her store gets ransacked, she has no other choice than to involve Connor. As they spend more time together, Venus develops feelings for Connor which in turn confuse her. She must keep her resolve and stick to her mantra of we're just doing this to get Bridget and Tony back and my father's name cleared. Keep telling yourself that girl. *snort*

Pulling herself together, she sat up. Every woman admitted it was possible to feel physical attraction to a gorgeous guy even if she thought him a jerk.
But what she's never thought possible before this moment was that, jerk or not, she felt sad when Connor left.
OVERALL: I enjoyed my first Sherill Bodine book. It's a wonderful laugh out loud, heartwarming read with a hint of danger. Venus was such a headcase at times that I wanted to shake her and tell her to just let it go and throw herself at Connor. I mean come on! Who wouldn't? Oh yeah. Venus wouldn't because her father was fired from his long time position as treasurer of Clayworth's. There were memorable characters like Aunt Bridget who told it like it is, Diana (Venus's sister) who was like a freaking psychic and Gregori (the kid who Connor was mentoring) who was quite cheeky. Halfway through the book I had my "aha! I know who did it" moment and for once I got it right. Bodine's naming the Smith sister's after goddesses and their father writing a book featuring goddesses brought a smile to my face. Also, the mention of two couples from previous books have peaked my attention. Thanks to the excerpts at the end of the book, I'll be adding the previous two books to The List.

***review copy provided by publisher***

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