FicCentral received a free copy of this book from TKA Distribution (via NetGalley).
Series: Whispering Bay #3
Publisher: TKA Distribution on June 9, 2015
Genre(s): Contemporary Romance (Adult)
When Mimi Grant becomes mayor of Whispering Bay, she gets a whole lot more than she bargained for. Her biggest concern? The city’s annual festival is in financial ruin and the former housewife doesn’t have a clue how to fix things. But, she’s determined to bring the sleepy beachside town into the twenty-first century.
Hunky Police Chief Zeke Grant isn’t happy that his estranged wife Mimi has just become his boss. But for the town’s sake, he’s willing to swallow his pride and let her order him around—to a point. Everything aside, he doesn’t count on someone from his past coming back to haunt him, forcing him to reevaluate what’s really important.
While Mimi and Zeke continue to butt heads on how to get things done, there’s one thing they can’t help but agree on: their chemistry is hotter than ever. However, when a robbery threatens to derail the annual festival, some of the town’s residents question Mimi and Zeke’s ability to keep Whispering Bay safe—as well as keep their war-torn personal life out of civic business. Mimi and Zeke must team up to solve the crime, and decide once and for all if it’s time to move forward with separate lives, or if true love really does conquer all.
This book includes mature subject matter that may not be appropriate for readers under the age of 18.
Mimi and Zeke have always been the couple everyone else wanted to be, making married life look easy despite their rough start. But Zeke’s been acting strange lately, closed off and irritable, and marriage counseling hasn’t done any good. But their separation is happening at the worst time, when Mimi’s going from stay-at-home mom to mayor, when their moody teenage daughter is about to graduate and head off to college, and when the whole town is watching. But if Zeke can’t open up to his wife, his temporary stay at a friend’s hunting cabin just may become permanent.
If the previous two books in the series hadn’t been so damned good, I probably would have passed this one up, not only because I hate to read anything out of order, but because I wasn’t sure I could get into a story about two people trying to save their marriage. New or rediscovered love is what I generally enjoy when it comes to romance novels, and watching two people work through their issues just to get back where they started has never been something I’ve looked forward to. But like the other Whispering Bay novels, That Man of Mine had me hooked in no time.
I liked Mimi when we met her in the earlier books, and handing her the job as newly elected mayor certainly gave things and interesting twist. She was a teen pregnancy statistic turned stay at home mom, and running for mayor seems to be the first thing she’s really done for herself since accepting Zeke’s marriage proposal when she was eighteen.
I can’t say I liked Zeke too much in the previous books, though. It’s not that he was a bad guy or anything, but he didn’t seem to have much of a human edge to him. He was always rigid and gruff, and while he may have been the best looking man in town, we never really saw any depth to him. But finding out the real issue between him and Mimi and watching him struggle to do the right thing in order to win her back added a whole new dimension to his character.
I was afraid this would be one of those stories where the couple had to go through hell in order to come together again, but I was relieved to find that wasn’t the case. Sure, they had some disagreements, and Zeke was a stubborn ass, but neither of them was willing to let their marriage go, and they certainly didn’t want to hurt each other. I was also worried that some part of Zeke was one of those rigidly old fashioned guys who didn’t want his wife showing him up in town, but again, false alarm. Turns out he was crazy supportive of her, even when their future together was in question, and the issues in their marriage were actually outside factors that simply had to be faced.
Getting a closer look inside Zeke’s mind just made me love him, even if I did want to knock him upside his thick head a few times. But it was clear he was still madly in love with his wife, an incredible brother, and a responsible cop. He may have seemed gruff, but his family was the most important thing in the world to him, and who can’t love a man like that?
There’s lots more to the story than just repairing their marriage, though. The Bunco Babes are out in full force, there’s discord at City Hall, their kids aren’t handling the separation like they expected, a new city employee might have a slimy side, and then there’s the not so small matter of small town gossip. If you’ve ever lived in a small town, you’ll know this well. If you haven’t… Well, this will probably convince you to keep it that way. But even though the rumor mill is in overdrive, it’s clear that everyone in town is on their side — just another great thing about this series. That Man of Mine is another well-written, interesting, and ultimately romantic story, and it just might be my favorite in the series now. I kind of wish this series could go on for about a dozen more books.
Buy this book now. Hell, buy everything Geraci writes.