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"A book is a gift you can open again and again." Garrison Keillor

Literature is a textually transmitted disease, normally contracted in childhood.” Jane Yolen

"It is what you read when you don't have to that determines what you will be when you can't help it." Oscar Wilde

"Books have furnished, burnished, and enabled my life." Julia Keller

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Tuesday, November 6, 2012

2012 Book 223: HOT COCO Review


Hot Coco by Cindy McDonald
ISBN: 9780985726713 (paperback)
Publication date: June 1, 2012
Publisher: Acorn Book Services


HOT: Coco Beardmore
NOT: Coco's calamities
HOT: Mike West's fantasies
NOT: Mike's reality
That's right, Coco Beardmore is sizzling hot and she's landed in Mike West's lap. The problem is Coco's middle name is chaos! Her driving skills are a real bang--into Mike's horse trailer, and her sultry seduction will set the room on fire--the kitchen that is.
What's worse are her Thoroughbreds ability to mimic their owner's habit of screwing things up. It's enough to drive a normally calm and collected Mike West to the very edge.
But Mike's not the only one having problems with women. His father Eric has taken on more than he can chew, and he's about to get spit out by two women: one that he's in love with and one that thinks he's in love with her.
Oh yeah, things are hot around Westwood Thoroughbred Farm... and someone's about to get burned!


Horses, racetracks, sexy and sultry characters and massive misunderstandings  are the major components in the contemporary read Hot Coco by Cindy McDonald. I thought that the story was going to center on Colette "Coco" Beardmore given the title, and it does . . . for a while. Coco is attracted to Mike West, Mike is attracted to Coco but he's also still attracted (sexual attraction) to his ex-wife Ava. Ava is in a relationship with Carl, who is attracted to Ava's ex-sister-in-law Kate. Mike and Kate's father, Eric, is attracted to Jennifer and vice versa. Eric is also generously donating his time to teach Margie, another trainer’s daughter, to read. Margie starts off infatuated with Mike, begins to date a co-worker, and then thinks she's in love with Eric. Whew! Confused yet, I was and I read it!

The basic premise for Hot Coco is what attracted me to this book, but it didn't take long for the premise to fall flat. Coco and Mike are the major characters for about three or four chapters and then the story goes off on numerous tangents. To put it bluntly, Hot Coco is a "hot mess." There doesn't seem to be a main storyline or major characters throughout the story. Characters may be major in a few chapters and then become extremely minor in others. There is no main story to pull everything together other than the setting of the racetrack and training facilities. Ms. McDonald appears to have had a great idea for a story that centered on mutual attraction that is confounded by the klutziness of one of the characters. Unfortunately that story was over within a few short chapters and the remaining storylines just seem like filler. Hot Coco is a fast read but it simply didn't work for me due to its lack of storyline and major character development. 

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book for free from the author via NetGalley. I was not paid, required or otherwise obligated to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."






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