Beauty and the Black Sheep - Jessica Bird

Back before JR Ward wrote about vampires, she wrote under a different name...

 

Heroine - head of the family and managing the family pile (which at this point seems to be literally a pile). She has spent the past 10 years taking care of her sister and grandma following the death of the parents. She has control issues, and has pretty much resigned herself to spinsterhood due to the transient nature of most of the men she meets. The family pile is of course, a bed and breakfast, and it's falling down about her ears - literally as it were - in the opening chapter, the ceiling caved on her, dumping water from a leaky pipe and lord knows what else.

 

Hero - fairly well-known chef. His life goal, along with that of his friend, is to have his own place. He's currently unemployed while looking for the perfect place. He hires himself after a car breakdown, a hike for several miles, and coming in on the h and company trying to figure out how to feed guests after attempting to cremate the chicken. His issues are the result of an ex who assumed he was due an inheritance and when she found out otherwise, had an abortion and dumped him - in that order.

 

While I really don't have any quibbles about the characters themselves, some of the obstacles seem off.

 

There's a mortgage on the family pile. Unknown how much but it must not have been for a remodel. And it's a large one - h has to come up with $150k by the end of the summer. The state of the house - how long has it been since any repairs were actually done? The H's car - it's towed to a barn, he works on it briefly, and nothing else is said about it. The feeling I get that to the h, her sister is still a teenager. The brother who abandoned his family and only a nasty boat wreck brings him home...

 

Some of the scenes were really funny though - the H's decision to repair the gutter and remembering halfway up the ladder that he's afraid of heights.

 

In the end, he decides he's found the perfect place to ply his trade - in her b&b - so all is well. And apparently the plumber is a justice of the peace...