This my second Victoria Dahl book, after Talk Me Down which I reviewed here. I find Dahl’s voice incredibly engaging. Somewhere between the humor, which really works for me, and the sympathetic characters, I’m pulled right along.
Lori Love is the town’s mechanic. Her mother abandoned her and her father when she was young, and her father was in a coma for years before he died, leaving Lori unable to complete university and saddled with a ton of debt. While this might seem to be a setup for lots of angst, Dahl doesn’t really write angst as such. She has an almost breezy style, but that doesn’t prevent me from really feeling for the characters, and there is depth to these stories.
Quinn, on the other hand, doesn’t have a particularly heavy backstory. He’s an architect, and isn’t terribly good at relationships, mainly because he gets lost in his work—and because he hasn’t been involved with the right women. Lori Love is a good friend of his sister Molly (the heroine from Talk Me Down), and they agree to have a fling.
It’s actually pretty hilarious how they agree upon this, which is better read than described by me.
While this is going on, there’s a mystery as the sheriff decides that Lori’s father’s head injury, from which he never recovered, was not likely an accident. At the same time, people are becoming inordinately interested in land her father bought years ago, including people Quinn works with. And this all gets tangled together in the second half of the book before Quinn and Lori get their happy-for-now.
There’s a third book in this contemporary series, Lead Me On, and I can’t wait to read that one next. I liked Start Me Up just as much as Talk Me Down, so I have high hopes for the next one.
After reading these reviews and comments, I should stress how much I adored the somewhat baffled but completely lovestruck Quinn.