An antagonistic couple find love through meddling grandparents, troublesome pets, and a real estate rehab project in this enemies-to-lovers romance.
The Dorothy is a senior-living apartment complex with personality, but building manager Riley Carson knows she’s in a little over her head. After a public scandal involving her previous employer, a fancy resort, she left her job to help run her grandmother’s apartment complex in South Florida. Unfortunately, the building is in desperate need of TLC, and Riley knows the residents’ fixed income limits the improvements that can be made. Caleb Donovan takes one look at the Dorothy and sees luxury condominiums in its future. That would also mean displacing the complex’s residents and turning the beloved neighboring dog park into a parking lot. Though Caleb is clearly painted as the bad guy, looking to gentrify a neighborhood and run out its inhabitants, his motivations lie in saving his family business. It’d be easier to understand his plight if he didn’t drive around in a Porsche and clothe himself in high-end brands. The quirky characters, both human and animal, overwhelm the romance between Riley and Caleb; they’re far more entertaining than the main couple. The solution that would work for Riley and Caleb in terms of the Dorothy is obvious from the start, and readers may feel frustrated that the two of them don’t reach a compromise sooner. At the very least, the romance and setting are cute enough to persevere to a happily-ever-after, and animal lovers will enjoy seeing the distinct personalities of the Dorothy’s residents and their pets. More cynical romance readers may rankle at the saccharine setup and pampered pups.
Expect a toothache from this overly sweet contemporary.