Uptight history professor Sam Layton may have the abs of a movie action hero, but he stopped believing in the joy of adventure a long time ago. However, when a one-night stand with a tattooed bombshell leads to a treasure map for the long-buried Rebecca’s Bounty, the call to action is too strong to ignore.
All Las Vegas cocktail waitress Josie Winarsky wants to do is paint. But when she lands smack dab in the middle in a mob plot, she has to push aside her dreams to find a treasure in Dry Creek, Nebraska and save her family from harm. With Sam at her side and a Vegas loan shark on her tail, the treasure she finds turn out to be much more valuable than emeralds and rubies.
Passion Creek is a suspensefully sexy read that goes from the glitz of Vegas to the quiet countryside of Nebraska where two very opposite people can't help but be drawn to each other. For buxom and outspoken Josie, just when she thinks she's off to finally live her life as she wants comes a dirty-minded loan shark saying her brother owes him money and he's come to claim it from her. The reasons behind this charade are a bit convoluted and rely on events happening off page (perhaps in another book entirely) so they never really ring true. Josie's no wilting flower and knows how to physically protect herself and I cheered every time she defended herself.
Sam has always been studious and quiet after a childhood event had him shutting off his emotions. When they say, "what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas", Sam means it.....at first. He thinks his scorching one-night stand with Josie will be enough but her liveliness and ability to make him laugh and feel for the first time in a long time have him dreaming about her. A crazy treasure hunt brings her to Nebraska and his dreams soon become a reality.
The treasure hunt really feels like an afterthought though. The diary revolving around the treasure tells an intriguing story but in Ms. Avery's story it seems out of place. The conclusion to the treasure hunt wraps up too quickly and haphazardly. What flows well though are the sexual encounters between Sam and Josie. The scenes are nicely paced throughout the story with the perfect blend of steaminess and playfulness. Their differences clearly meshed in the bedroom.
I enjoyed seeing Sam come out of his shell. Josie talk him that life is too short to not live it to the fullest. His final act proving his love to Josie was sweetly unexpected and showed how far Sam has come to be the man he wants to be. Ms. Avery has created likable characters with outcomes that I truly cared about and found myself finishing this story with a smile on my face.
My rating for this is a B.
*I received this book from the author in exchange for my honest opinion.