Monday, January 19, 2009

Review: For the Love of Pete

Title: For the Love of Pete
Author: Julia Harper
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Published: January 2009
Contemporary Romance Challenge

Everyone knows the unwritten law that if you shovel the snow from a parking space and mark off the spot, that's your space. Everyone that is but Dante Torelli. This is what Zoey Addler discovers when she gets home and catches "Lips of Sin" her sexy neighbor taking her spot. She doesn't know his name, hence the Lips nickname. Before she can finish giving him hell for taking her spot a man runs from the apartment building with a baby. But it's not just any baby, it's Pete, Zoey's niece. And the man isn't just any man, he's a kidnapper. Before Dante realizes it he's in a car chase with his crazy neighbor as his passenger.

For the Love of Pete follows Dante and Zoey on the road trip of a lifetime as they try to get Pete back. Along the way they meet up with some colorful characters in the form of Savita Gupta and Pratima Gupta. The involvement of these ladies gives the chase a dash of comedy along with a bit of surrealism. After reading Harper's HOT and enjoying it I was looking forward to reading For the Love of Pete and was not disappointed. All the same elements that I liked in HOT are in FtLoP.

Zoey Addler is an interesting heroine. She works at a health foods store and also writes poetry. She dresses in her own style, (read: eclectic) and adores her niece. Zoey doesn't have any kids of her own but she helped her sister raise Pete and loves her very much. So when Pete is kidnapped Zoey's reaction is to go after her. She doesn't know at the time that Dante is an FBI agent, he just happens to have a car handy. As they move through the twists and turns of tracking Pete, Zoey gets to know Dante beyond his gorgeous looks and designer suits. He's certainly not what she would consider her type, she more into the artisan types, but this isn't exactly a first date situation. What Zoey realizes is that Dante, for all his class and style is a genuinely nice guy. Add that to his Lips of Sin and you've got a combination that's hard to resist.

Dante Torelli first showed up in the book HOT. He was a secondary character that was given enough page time to grab my interest. In FtLoP he takes center stage and shows that he did deserve a book of his own. If Zoey is a free spirit, child of the earth then Dante is an uptight, lover of rules and regulations. Actually he's not that bad. He just has a different way of unwinding and takes his job very seriously. He comes from a background of privilege and does enjoy having the finer things in life. Like his beautiful BMW that he and Zoey take on a wild ride.

Zoey and Dante are indeed a case of opposites attract. With Dante being the straight arrow, by the book FBI agent and Zoey, well being Zoey. She's more of a by-the-seat-of-her-pants thinker. Which only means that they tend to clash at times but in the end give each other the balance they need. In relationships, the ones that seem to work the best are the ones that have that balance, when the strengths of the heroine and hero compliment each other. That's what happens with Zoey and Dante.

With all this driving around, searching for a kidnapper you'd think that it would be hard for our hero and heroine to find some alone time, to get to know each other better on a more physical level. And you'd be right. The first time they were intimate didn't happen until page 304 of a 375 page book. Did this bother me? Nope. It made sense given the plot of the book. Sure they had opportunities prior but they still had a lot on their minds. It also didn't feel like the right time, they needed to get to know each other better. Once they got to the point where they did have sex it was definitely time. As for that first time I must say umm....well, I was expecting a bit more finesse from Dante. But he turned all uber alpha. But to give him credit he had been in denial for his attraction to Zoey and once he accepted the inevitable he went for it.

For the Love of Pete is another good read from Ms. Harper aka Elizabeth Hoyt. Her secondary characters of the Gupta ladies add flavor to the story mix. And the bad guys keep everyone on their toes. If you want more info on either the contemporary romances writen under the name Julia Harper or the historical romance writen under the name Elizabeth Hoyt you can check out the websites.

Rating: A-


  1. Great review, Leslie. I keep on meaning to try Hoyt's contemporaries, have heard good things about them. I really need to get on that.

  2. Thanks Brie :)

    Hoyt's contemps are fun reads.

  3. Glad you enjoyed the book Leslie :D I think that For the Love of Pete was actually better than Hot. I didn't really like the H/H relationship in Hot... but loved Dante and Zoey. Also, I didn't realized that Dante was actually the secondary character in Hot ^_^; Only realized so when Jack showed at the end ^_^;

    anyway, For the Love of Pete was fast paced and highly enjoyable. Can't wait for the author's next contemporary :D

  4. They were both different with the amount of time each h/h spent together.

    For the Love of Pete was a quick read. I too am looking forward to her next contemporary and her historicals too.

  5. This sounds fun! But I didn't know that thing about shovelling a space, either! Also, I didn't know Harper was Hoyt. Oh well!

  6. Hi CJ ~ I didnt' know about the parking space thing either. :)

  7. awesome review! i've had this book on my wishlist for awhile, but now i want it even more! :D

  8. Leslie, I loved your review. As big a fan as I am of Elizabeth Hoyt, I haven't read any of her Contemps yet, so I'm placing both FtLoP and Hot in my cart. Thank you for reminding me of Julia Harper.

  9. You're welcome Hils. :) Harper/Hoyt gives us readers the best of both worlds.