Framed & Hung - Alexis Fleming

There were just more problems with this novella than I could take.  

 

Zoe is a 30-something divorcée; it's been 5 years since she left her abusive ex-husband and she's been anti-relationship since then.  Jake is depicted by everyone as a stuffy, uptight banker who acts older than his 35 years. Zoe and Jake went to school together way back when. Both had unrequited secret crushes on each other. Jakes mother has inherited a landmark inn and she hires Zoe to help restore the in to its historic glory. 

 

This seemed like the perfect set up and I was all over it.  The opening scene where Zoe and Jake meet is hilarious which served to further to endear me to this story. That's where my joy for this book ended unfortunately.

 

Zoe was a bit too aggressive in her pursuit of Jake for me and we are beat over the head with her control issues stemming from her bad marriage.  The humor is forced at points, particularly with the addition of the family ghost who haunts the inn, pinching bottoms and making obscene gestures. Jake's insta-love comes out of nowhereville; regardless, of his teenage crush he and Zoe haven't been in each other's company in 15 years or more...he didn't even remember her when they originally met again.  

 

Lastly, there was too much descriptive info on the restoration of the inn.  In a book this short, I wanted to get to know the main characters, not what paint colors and fixtures are being put where. 

 

Very unlikely that I'd read seek out this author's work again.

 

*ARC provided by Harlequin Enterprises Australia via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.*