Fire and Ice Day #8! Here we are at the final day of Fire and Ice. I hope you all had fun, I know I did, and I read some fantastic fiery reads, and it was certainly icy and snowy here in Portland. I have the pleasure of wrapping things up today with one final post. Here on Rainy Day Ramblings, I am featuring a hilarious read: Must Love Otters by Eliza Gordon. This is definitely a laugh out loud type of book, perfect for winter. I certainly snickered at the antics in this one. This is Eliza's debut book, and I am super excited to welcome her here to the blog today. So without further delay, please welcome Eliza, but first let me tell you all about her:
A purveyor of fictions, Eliza Gordon has excellent taste in books, shoes, movies, and friends, and questionable sanity in the realm of love. Best leave that one alone. In real life, she’s a husband-and-wife team of controlled chaos who writes stories to help you believe in the Happily Ever After.
Here is Eliza:
My Dreamiest of Dreamy First Dates
Valentine’s Day will have just passed by the time these words reach your eyeballs, but that doesn’t mean that the potential for romance has fallen away for another year. Don’t lock it away with your cheesy Christmas decorations—romance can be a year-round effort! What’s wrong with random flowers on a rainy Thursday in May,
or a surprise foamy latte with extra hazelnut from a secret admirer on your desk come Tuesday morning?
But getting the Object of Your Affection to pay attention to you first—that’s the kicker. I’m not great with advice here. I’d tell you to flash your boobs or smile big and show all your teeth, but I think I read that in an article about chimpanzees. Not sure if it works so well with humans, and it might end up in either an arrest or restraining order. Unless it’s Mardi Gras, of course.
So, boob-flashing aside, once you do get him to notice more than the fact that you didn’t hold the elevator this morning (jerk), there is that scary thing called a First Date. I’ve had those. Many of those. And as we all know, a first date does not necessarily guarantee a second date, thankfully so, in some instances. If you can make it through the first date with fewer than two red flags and zero alarm bells, maybe you can risk saying yes to a second go-round—but only if it doesn’t involve meeting his family yet. Too soon. Really weird. Chances are good his mother isn’t going to like you and your hussy shoes.
The stars aligned when my parents finally relented and said YES PLEASE GO ON A DATE SO WE CAN STOP HEARING ABOUT THIS BOY. As such, the first date to win ALL first dates belonged to moi. If you’ve read Must Love Otters, you’ve had a taste of it already:
My own Mr. Darcy almost happened when I went on my first date at fifteen. Jory Angel. I’m not even kidding. That was his name. I liked him because he wore torn jeans and a leather biker jacket and his dad’s cologne and he didn’t give a shit what any of the other kids said about his wild black hair or his strange name or the tattoo he kept hidden from his preacher daddy. Held back a year, Jory got his license before the rest of us, so he drove us to the movies, no parent chaperone, and then to the now-defunct ice cream parlor with staff in old-fashioned red-striped shirts and straw boater hats, and then to the movie theatre still under construction where we squeezed through the security fencing and ran up and down the bare concrete inclines where the seats would eventually go, and then to his father’s tiny church where we broke in and he played the piano for me while I stretched out on a pew … it was pretty perfect.
This … was my first date (the poor boy’s name has been changed, of course—oh, and he didn’t have a tattoo). I lived in a suburban community outside Portland, Oregon, with lots of rich snobby types (we were very much outsiders). I was the Original Nerd with my crazy-colored pants I made in sewing class and my excellent grades when excellent grades weren’t cool and my penchant for carrying around the Audubon Field Guide to North American Mammals
because I liked the size of the book. I creative-licensed the part about the ice cream parlor, only because I can’t remember if there was food involved. The last thing I cared about was what we were going to eat—this boy and I were on a date, alone, and it was brilliant.
Even if the next school day, he sort of ignored me because this gorgeous popular girl with the World’s Greatest Hair decided he was interesting. End of my love story. Fast forward X number of years, and I can’t even bring myself to look for this guy on Facebook. I always want him to be the wild child of my high school fantasies, my own James Dean wannabe. I don’t want to see that he’s bald and sporting enough midsection tires to outfit a Subaru.
Sure, other dates with other male specimens happened in the subsequent years. Concerts, trips to the county fair, bonfires, fancy dinners out at Sizzler. When I moved to Los Angeles, I had a fantastic first date with a guy named Drew—he was a swing dancer!—and I looked so adorable in my yellow and black Betsey Johnson dress and my swing-dancer-style shoes. God, I had great legs back then.
We danced, we laughed, we lived that Brown Derby life for a single night. And the first date was so great, I had to say yes to a second. Which was a total dud. He picked me up in his gross car that smelled of last week’s McDonald’s leftovers and forgotten socks, and he was short on cash so we went to Santa Monica and sat on the steps of a closed bank so he could tell me all his woes. Dude. No. Just … no. RIP, Drew.
Not everyone gets their Happily Ever After, I know, but while filling the pages of your own Bridget Jones-esque diary, make sure to take notes about food and drink and quirks and good jokes. You never know—they may end up in a book someday.
Sounds like the date has gotten better and better in your mind over the years. I think we can all relate to a few awkward dates through the years. Here is to more terrific dates. Thanks so much Eliza for sharing your fun post today. If you liked Eliza's humor in the post, read her book! Now Eliza wants some of you to have a chance to win her book so she is offering three ebooks copies of Must Love Otters by Eliza Gordon . To enter fill out the Rafflecopter after reading the Contest Policies. Good Luck!
Here is my review:
Must Love Otters by Eliza Gordon
Hollie Porter is the chairwoman of Generation Disillusioned: at twenty-five years old, she’s saddled with a job she hates, a boyfriend who’s all wrong for her, and a vexing inability to say no. She’s already near her breaking point, so when one caller too many kicks the bucket during Hollie’s 911 shift, she cashes in the Sweethearts’ Spa & Stay gift certificate from her dad and heads to Revelation Cove, British Columbia. One caveat: she’s going solo. Any sweethearts will have to be found on site.
Hollie hopes to find her beloved otters in the wilds of the Great White North, but instead she’s providing comic relief for staff and guests alike. Even Concierge Ryan, a former NHL star with bad knees and broken dreams, can’t stop her from stumbling from one (mis)adventure to another. Just when Hollie starts to think that a change of venue doesn’t mean a change in circumstances, the island works its charm and she starts to think she might have found the rejuvenation she so desperately desires. But then an uninvited guest crashes the party, forcing her to step out of the discomfort zone where she dwells and save the day … and maybe even herself in the process.
Kindle Edition 266 pages
Published October 29th 2013 by West 26th Street Press, NYC
Source: Author in Exchange for an honest review
Four stars: A funny, chick lit book with a sweet romance.
As a seasoned 911 operator, Hollie Porter is used to strange calls. Tonight's call is a memorable one, though, as a wife calls refusing to damage her husband's Batman costume as he lays dying... heart condition plus alcohol plus Viagra equals bad Batman Night. Despite her efforts, the man dies. Another stroke in the office book of death against Hollie. Things get worse when she goes home to face the three yapping Yorkies and her EMT, stethoscope wearing boyfriend. When Keith says he has a romantic surprise, Hollie goes with it. The surprise ends up being nachos on her naked body complete with nipple searing hot sauce. Hollie soothes her burning nipples and she tries to hide her irritation. Later, her father sends her a all expenses romantic getaway for two to Vancouver, B.C.. When Hollie mentions it to Keith, a his main concern is leaving his dogs. Things continue to spiral downhill when Hollie learns she is being called to the office on review for her performance during the Batman call. Finally, Hollie has had enough. She tells Keith to move out and heads to the bar. A few drinks and a drunken phone call later, Hollie is on her way to Vancouver. Hollie is going to spend four days alone trying to figure out what she wants to do with her life. Will Hollie finally find her rainbow?
What I Liked:
- Must Love Otters is an entertaining, funny read for those of you who are looking for an escape. This is the type of book that will make you laugh, and cringe, and then smile. A great read for when you need a good solid laugh. Hollie's voice will be one you won't soon forget.
- This is a book packed full of snark and humor. Hollie's voice is unique and she will certainly make you chuckle with her snarky remarks and her antics. She definitely ends up in some awkward situations. I grew to really like Hollie.
- The romance is sweet and slow. Hollie strikes up a friendship with Concierge Ryan at the resort, and there are even hints of attraction, but Hollie shoves Ryan aside when a rich man woos her. Hollie definitely picks some winners NOT!.... Thankfully, she finally sees the light and finds the perfect man. At the end, Hollie achieves happiness and the romance takes off. I liked that it was sweet, and surprising and that everything ends on a high note.
- Ryan is absolutely wonderful. He is kind, patient, full of humor and just an all around nice guy. I loved that he was humble and lived a quiet life without all the frills and riches. He is definitely the type of guy that will melt your heart.
- I liked that this book was all about Hollie's journey of self discovery. At the beginning of the book, things are rather rocky as Hollie is struggling in her relationship and at her job. She is unhappy, but she doesn't know how to fix it. A four day vacation to Canada, opens her eyes and makes her realize that it is time for a change. I enjoyed seeing her find her path and let go of the things that were making her miserable. At the end, she has her feet firmly set on a new path to happiness.
- Finally, I loved the setting. The first part of the book takes place in my home city of Portland, Oregon, and then it moves to the beautiful and scenic Revelation Resort in Vancouver, British Columbia. Vancouver is scenic and teeming with wildlife. I thought Ms. Gordon did an excellent job with the setting, and I finished this book convinced it was time for me to take a trip up north.
And The Not So Much:
- I struggled in the early stages with Hollie. She is funny and full of snark, but she is also wallowing in misery and self pity, and she is rather negative. She tends to open her mouth and speak without thinking and she spends plenty of time getting drunk, which equals more bad decisions. Hollie lands herself in several bad predicaments before she finally learns. Thankfully, things turn a corner and Hollie transforms into a character that I grew to like.
- Even though I loved the romance and the happy ever ending, I thought that the way things settled out at the end were almost too quick. I think perhaps doing an Epilogue down the road a few months after the couple really had some time to be together would have been more believable. Even though the author does an excellent job of creating a slow building romance, in reality it takes place over five day period, so it felt a bit like insta love. However, I did find it believable.
- There was a story line involving Hollie's mother who abandoned her. Then it goes nowhere. This isn't a big issue but I was expecting something to come of this story line.
Must Love Otters is an entertaining and fun chick lit read. It has a sweet romance, a heroine who undergoes a big transformation after she gets out of several awkward situations, and it ends on a high note. This is a book you can pick up when you need a pick me up. It is light, quirky and funny.
"Note to the world: Viagra + scotch + heart condition= dead with a boner. "
"Ruled by mediocrity, I've given up. My get-up-and-go got up and went. It left without me. It didn't even leave me a note."
"When he looks over his shoulder and catches me ogling him, his smile is like a hug. I want to wrap in it, feel its warmth ensconce me, explore its soft edges until the moon tells me I have to go home."
"Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened." Dr. Seuss
I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated for this review.
Whew! Thanks everyone for all your support. I hope you loved the event. Be sure to enter the giveaways, the will be open for a few more days. Don't forget to enter to win an ipod! Click on the button below for all the giveaways.
Stop by on Monday for a bonus post, Paula Stokes (Fiona Paul) stops by with The Art of Being Lainey and she has a terrific giveaway!