When Lightning Strikes is the first full-length book in the Whiskey Creek series by Brenda Novak. We were introduced to the Whiskey Creek gang in When We Touch, during Kyle Houseman’s wedding.
Overview: When Lightning Strikes takes place about a year after When We Touch (I believe, it’s never specified exactly). This time around, we’re officially introduced to Gail DeMarco, one of the friends in attendance at Kyle’s wedding. Gail is the head of her own PR firm in Los Angeles. She’s serious and confident, but sweet and shy under that tough exterior. Gail’s life is turned upside down when her biggest client, Simon O’Neal, pushes her too far, causing her to resign. After some bad talking on Gail’s part, Simon retaliates by getting almost all of Gail’s clients to fire her.
Simon O’Neal is Hollywood’s bad boy. He is an alcoholic, with the beginnings of a sex addiction, slowly giving up on his life. His reason for living, his son, has been taken away from him and thanks to Gail’s remarks, along with his own behavior, he’s backed in to a corner with only one option…straighten up.
Gail agrees to help Simon and knows the perfect place for him to heal, Whiskey Creek. Gail’s instincts were correct and soon Simon and her are building a relationship built on trust, the one thing Simon has never had.
My Review: This novel pulled me in and held me down to the very last page. I love the healing that occurred for Simon. I didn’t want to like him at first, but once the reader is shown the reasons for his behavior, it becomes forgivable. The poor guy! Gail was flip-flop character for me. She had her strong points, her devotion to helping Simon, how much she loved him, but my gosh, if she put her looks down one more time I would have screamed. Simon thought she was gorgeous, but she constantly rejected his compliments. My favorite part was the last chapter and the epilogue. The sweetest!
I’m intrigued by the secondary characters. I can’t wait to hear their stories. We get a glimpse into Sophia and Joe’s lives. Sophia is a lady who grew up with the gang, but was a bit of a brat in high school and made enemies. Gail has issues with Sophia, but moves beyond that when signs point to Sophia having problems in her home. Gail’s brother Joe is introduced as being a divorced father of two, now living with their father.
When Lightning Strikes is a fast-paced, contemporary romance. I gave it 4 out of 5 stars. I can’t wait to read more about the Whiskey Creek pals.