Julie Anne Long is a hit or miss author with me, I read one of her contemporary books in the past and didn’t care for it. I also read one of her historical, “It Started With a Scandal” which I absolutely loved and have read and re-read several times. If anyone is a historical fiction reader, “It Started With a Scandal” is a must read. “Dirty Dancing at Devil’s Leap” has been on my e-reader for a few weeks now and it wasn’t until I read so many great reviews about it that I started to read it.
The story starts Avalon Harwood. When the story begins she is at the top of her game. Thanks to an ingenious idea she has joined Silicon Valley’s top programmers when she invents a virtual game that makes her not only a lot of money, but also very famous. It is only when she is feeling at her best, at the top of her game, when she happens to walk in on her boyfriend and their intern in the middle of having sex. Ava is furious, not only is her boyfriend-well hers, but he is also her business partner. She packs up her bags and heads to her hometown- Hellcat Canyon.
When she returns to Hellcat Canyon Ava reminisces about her childhood and also her childhood love- Maximilian “Mac” Coltrane. Max comes from a very wealthy family and when he and Ava were growing up they were from very different backgrounds-him wealthy hers not. Now because of turn in events, Ava is the wealthy one and Max is living a life very different from the one he grew up accustomed to. When Max’s childhood home is put up on the market Ava wins it in an auction, she feels like she has finally been able to fulfill her childhood dreams and plans to turn the house around-it has decayed over the years- and sell it. Fortunately, or unfortunately, for Ava has very different plans and he wants to buy back his childhood home and get Ava off his property. Both Ava and Max are worthy opponents and they have plenty of mischief up their sleeves. I’ll just say nudist and smelly fertilizer is involved.
Overall, this was a cute story but it felt very long and drawn out. The secondary characters seemed more like fillers and I didn’t really gain too much interest in them. Max was a nice hero but there weren’t too many qualities about him that really made him memorable. One of the reasons that Ava and him had a falling out was because when they were dating Ava heard Max say deeming things about Ava and her financial circumstances. As he grew up and became more of himself and less of his father, Max was very sorry for the hurtful things he said and did not feel the same anymore. He spent his adult years become more of himself. Even though I didn’t love this story I do plan to keep reading more books by Julie Ann Long.
**ARC provided by Publisher**