Saturday, March 31, 2018

Book Review: 'Just Right' by Arlene Hittle


Callista Gold is America’s Sweetheart, Hollywood-style. But when a scandalous secret is exposed, she heads for anonymity, and peace and quiet in Northern Arizona. What she finds is completely unexpected.
Starlet Callie goes into hiding after a set of nude photos is released to the public, courtesy of a hacker. She eludes reporters and paparazzi by buying an old fixer-upper cottage in a small off-the-beaten-path town in Northern Arizona, sight unseen. Little does she know that she just bought the cottage right out from under Ty Behr, one-third of a local remodeling team of handsome brothers. Ty, Jeff, and Will Behr had plans to purchase the property, remodel it, and then flip it for a nice profit. The youngest brother, Ty, was the brainchild of the failed plan and he’s not happy to find out that the cottage has a new owner, beautiful or not.
In a turn of events, Callie ends up hiring “Baby Behr” and his brothers to do the remodeling job, and with nothing else to do but hideout until the media storm blows over, Callie decides to jump in to help with the remodeling, and she isn’t a bit afraid of using a sledgehammer when needed. And it seems both Ty and Jeff notice – everything. Although eldest brother Will tries to keep his two brothers focused on the job, the two find themselves at odds over Callie. And since Ty was never good at sharing, Jeff had a fun time riling him.
The story had its amusing moments, but I did not see it as a romantic comedy, as billed. Some incidents were more embarrassing and awkward than funny, such as the time Callie traipses out into the woods behind her cottage, only to realize she doesn’t have her cell phone so she doesn’t know what time it is, but knows she is hungry. She finds “the widest pine tree in the area” and squats. Unbeknownst to her, one of the handsome Behr brothers also decides to find a tree. Startled and caught with her pants down, Callie falls into an unfortunate “patch of bright green leaves.” Yep, you guessed it!
Most of the time, the relationships came off as fickle and seemed to have a malfunctioning stop and go button. And frankly, even though I wanted to believe the three men and Callie got along well with each other, the relationships were not convincing and I never felt more than an awkward employer/employee relationship, even when Callie and the men became attracted to one another. Although I believe the author intended a multiple viewpoint story, the method was not fully successful. Callie often posed questions to herself and then answered, before the next sentence gave Ty a turn doing the same. At times, it was confusing trying to decipher who was answering whose question.
If you enjoy stories of Hollywood starlets and their search for normalcy amid chaos, this is a quick amusing read.

Editor's note: This article was originally published at Long and Short ReviewsIt has been republished with permission. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.