Cutting Loose by Susan Andersen (2008), appears to the be the first of a trilogy
Jane thinks nothing can make her lose her cool
But the princess of propriety blows a gasket the night she meets the contactor restoring the Wolcott
mansion. Devlin Kavanagh;s rugged sex appeal may buckle her knees, but the man is out of control!
Jane had to deal with theatrics growing up – she won’t tolerate them in someone hired to work on the
house she and her two best friends have just inherited.
Dev could renovate the mansion in his sleep. But ever since the prissy owner spotted him jet-lagged,
exhausted and hit hard by a couple of welcome-home drinks, she’s been on his case. Yet there’s
something about her. Jane hides behind conservative clothes and a frosty manner, but her seductive
blue eyes and leopard-print heels hint at a woman just dying to cut loose.
I enjoyed this book a lot, although there were some things that just rubbed me wrong, mostly from a professional perspective. B/B-.
Okay, here are the things I liked:
- Straight contemporary (dying breed?)
- Great chemistry between h/h
Things I didn’t like:
- Judgmental and downright bitchy Jane, when bitchiness is based on her misjudgments
- Categorization of museum quality assets being done after probate has been cleared/closed. How could the value of the estate have been properly fixed if the assets hadn’t been inventoried earlier? Add the throwaway comment from Jane that the appraisal of the vintage clothing collection was low because the appraiser thought they were rags, and I was cringing. The estate is obliged to provide an accurate assessment of the value of the estate; having someone whose expertise is real estate appraise vintage clothing is a Bad Idea.
- Failure of the estate administrator to properly secure the assets of the estate. All those collections in an old, unoccupied home with a crappy security system…again, the administrator has an obligation to maximize and protect the assets.
- Ava bitching about paying estate taxes. None of that money was hers to begin with; and the alternative could have been much worse worse. (In the 1930s through the 70s, the estate tax rate was nearly 80%; the whole point of it was to prevent vast amounts of capital being locked up in the hands of a few wealthy families. Beyond that, it is a tax on one’s right to control the disposition of assets after death: getting your money where you want it to go isn’t free. )
The second book of the trilogy, Bending the Rules, featuring one of Jane’s co-owners and a character introduced in Cutting Loose was released on June 30, 2009.