On Wednesday, Quinn McKenzie changes her life. On Thursday, she tries to get somebody to notice. On Thursday night, somebody does.
Quinn McKenzie has always lived what she calls a "beige" life. She's dating the world's nicest guy, she has a good job as a high school art teacher, she's surrounded by family and friends who rely on her, and she's bored to the point of insanity. But when Quinn decides to change her life by adopting a stray dog over everyone's objections, everything begins to spiral out of control. Now she's coping with dog-napping, breaking and entering, seduction, sabotage, stalking, more secrets than she really wants to know, and two men who are suddenly crazy...for her.
What a hoot this book was! Considering it is a romance there are some pretty heavy topics in this book - stalking and adultery amongst others.
The two main characters are Quinn McKenzie and Nick Zeigler, her former brother-in-law, but they are by far not the only characters in the book whose life is changing. When we first meet Quinn she is in a relationship with Bill, the successful coach from the school where Quinn teaches art. Quinn and Bill have been together for a couple of years, although a lot of the time it seems as though Quinn just got together with him, and then moved in with him because it was easier to give in as opposed to fight it. Bill has everything planned out, right down to fitting in a wedding between seasons, what sort of underwear he wants Quinn to wear (virginal white), the beige furniture that fills their apartment. However, after two years of doing as she is told, Quinn finally gets fed up of this way of living when she finds a stray dog, falls in love with it, and wants to keep it, and Bill sneakily takes the dog (who Quinn has named Katie) to dog pound behind her back. Quinn decides that one of them has to go, and it isn't going to be the dog. So Quinn moves out of the beige apartment, back to her parents, and it is Nick who helps her move. Nick who has been her friend since she was 16 years old, Nick who is out of bounds because he used to be married to her sister.
Before long Quinn has not only shed her relationship, she has cut her hair, she is buying a house, she is moving on, and she really wants Nick to be part of it and Nick wants it too, but Nick has become a commitment phobe, unable to stay the night with any of his girlfriends, let alone face a lifetime commitment. However, when Bill starts to get a bit scary and starts stalking Quinn, sabotaging her firstly her loan application and then her house so that she will realise how much she still needs him, Nick realises that it is time that he made some changes himself.
In the meantime, Nick's brother Max and his wife Darla are also having some troubles. Darla is bored, and feels as though Max doesn't actually see her, hasn't really seen her in years, and nothing that she tries works, not even opening the door wearing only a transparent raincoat (which backfires when Max hasn't come home alone...whoops!). For Darla things get so bad that she moves in with Quinn, as does Quinn's father when her mother moves her best friend (and lover) in! So as Darla and Max work through their issues, and Quinn's father and mother also deal with theirs, Quinn and Nick begin to acknowledge the attraction that has been there for years. Nick and Quinn try to stay away from each other but he sexual tension between them builds really well in the book as does their growing understanding of what is happening between them.
The cast of characters is quite large for a romance, but they are also a lot of fun, and deal with issues like spicing up a marriage after a long time together. There are also appearances by various characters from the town, providing more insight into life in a small town.
This was a lot of fun, despite the seriousness of some of the themes, and is highly recommended!