Thursday, October 24, 2013

Lingerie Wars (Invertary #1) by Janet Elizabeth Henderson

Englishman Lake Benson loaned his life savings to his dippy sister so that she could buy a shop. It was a big mistake. His sister has been steadily flushing his money down the drain - and now he wants it back. Years in the special forces taught Lake that if you want a job done, do it yourself. So he steps in to make the shop profitable, sell it and get his money back. The only problem is, the business is an underwear shop. And all Lake knows about underwear can be summed up in how fast he can unsnap a bra. To make matters worse, the tiny highland town already has a lingerie shop. A successful one, run by an ex-lingerie model. A very gorgeous ex-lingerie model, who's distracting him from his mission more than he'd like to admit. If Lake wants to get his savings back, and get out of Scotland, he only has one option - wipe out the competition.

Kirsty Campbell has spent years rebuilding her life after she woke up in hospital in Spain to find her body scarred, and her ex-fiance had run off with all her money. The last thing she needs is a cocky, English soldier-boy trying to ruin all she has left. Her home town is only too happy to help her fight the latest English invasion, although Lake is beginning to sway them with his sex appeal and cut price knickers. With the help of her mother, and the retired ladies of Knit or Die, Kirsty sets about making sure that her shop is the last one standing in Invertary.

It's Scotland versus England as you've never seen it before. It's lingerie war.


***ARC provided by the publisher via netgalley in exchange for an honest review.**

I requested this book from netgalley based on the recommendation of a friend & fellow blogger, Mia from Wine, Books & Fringe.  Before this, I hadn't heard of Janet Elizabeth Henderson, but I am definitely going to have to check out her other books to see if they are anything like this one.

Lingerie Wars is the story of two failing lingerie stores in a town that is questionably big enough for one and the battle to determine which will survive.  Kirsty Cambell was once a famous lingerie model, but her life was changed drastically when she woke up in the hospital to find that she had been in a car accident & that her body (which at the time was her business) was irreparably damaged.  She also found that the man that she loved had left her to die & disappeared with all of her money.  She returns to her hometown, Invertary, Scotland, with as many scars inside as outside & tries to pull her life back together by opening a lingerie shop.  There is already a lingerie shop in Invertary, but "Betty's Knicker Emporium" is no competition.

Lake Benson is the son of hippie parents.  He grew up in a commune with his parents & his siblings, Rainne (Rainbow), River & Brooke (I will admit that it took me a little bit to get used to reading these names...especially the name Lake for a man...but after a few chapters, I just went with it!).  Opposed to just about everything that his parent believed in, he signed up for the military and moved away as soon as he was old enough.  In an effort to help his sister, Rainne, he bought a lingerie shop in Invertary for her to run.  He hoped it would pull her out of the commune mindset & teach her to stand on her own.  When the shop was continuing to lose money after six months, he decides to go to Invertary to see if he can recoup his losses & sell the shop.  When he gets to town, he finds that there are several reasons that the business is failing.  First, there is the fact that Betty's Knicker Emporium came with a convoluted contract...and Betty...a headstrong old woman with opinions to spare. Then there is the competition...

It took me a few chapters to get into this story, but once I did, I really enjoyed it.  The characters were all flawed in some way...some more than others, but I loved how they supported each other.  Even in the midst of "war", Kirsty & Lake couldn't really avoid helping each other.  The best character, in my opinion, was Betty.  She was ridiculous...which made her fun.  I loved her sassy/spunky comments & how she never really listened to anyone, yet always knew what was going on & didn't think twice about giving her advice.  After Betty, there were the Knit or Die ladies...they were a mess, but equally fun.  I kept picturing Invertary as a town that was full of crazy, old ladies.

I don't really know how to describe this story....the basic plot is fairly predictable & formulaic.  You know what is going to happen when it starts, but what sells it is how it gets there.  It's a fast-paced story that was well-written & funny.  It reminded me a little of books that I have read by Jennifer Crusie.  Even if you know where the story is going, you can't help but enjoy the ride!

If you are looking for a light-hearted, fun story...definitely give this one a try!  I'll be watching for book two, Goody Two Shoes, which is scheduled to be released later this year.

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