I'm giving Eliza Gordon's MUST LOVE OTTERS 4.0 out of 5 OTTER stars! :))
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.
Things only get worse for her at work when an overexcited man in a batman suit dies on her. Hollie knew that she’s going to get sacked sooner or later; it was just a matter of time. Right from the beginning, I’ve fallen in love with Hollie and her hilarious commentary. The punch lines are tasteful, even though much of these are made at her expense. I swear, I was laughing right from the very beginning. It was really entertaining to read. The way Hollie talks about her crappy life can sometimes be a bit self-deprecating but it never came across as melodramatic. It’s humorous and really enjoyable to read.
Hollie’s romantic life is not much better than her job. She stuck in a relationship with a wannabe doctor (really, Keith only drives the ambulance but he would insist on wearing a damn stethoscope on his neck – which annoys Hollie to no end) who is way too obsessed with patient/nurse-doctor role plays in the bedroom. Oh, and let’s not forget about Keith’s three Yorkies-from-Hell. Those dogs got more action from Keith than she ever did.
When her dad gives her and Keith a sweetheart package trip to Revelation Cove, a beautiful resort in British Columbia, Hollie quickly takes that chance. There was no way her yorkie-loving boyfriend is taking those damn dogs with him so she kicks him out, boots him out of her life and goes for a vacation all by herself. She figured it was time for her to take a breather from her disaster of a life. Plus, she might get to see some otters while up there. That pretty much made up her mind.
Of course, where Hollie is, something exciting was bound to happen… if only it were as exciting for her as it were for the people made to witness her shenanigans, she’d be set. Her never-ending antics made me laugh out loud all throughout the book. It was also really enjoyable to see Hollie shine through all the muck and crap her life has turned into. For the first time in a long while, Hollie is actually enjoying herself. Not even Ryan, the handsome concierge at Revelation Cove who seemed to witness every mishap that happens to Hollie there, could ruin her good vibes.
Just as she was finally starting to relax and smile again, something goes horribly wrong. Poor Hollie just can’t catch a break. Feeling all kinds of stupid and humiliated, she takes one of the small boats on the beach for a little ride. Two lost oars, a thrilling swim with a family of orcas, and an untimely rain shower later, Hollie finds herself lost in an unfamiliar island all alone with no way to call for help. Huddled on the floor of the small boat, she covered herself under a tarp she found hoping against all hope that she could survive the night without getting eaten alive by the wild animals lurking around the area at night. She asked to see animals in the wild, she did not expect the universe to take it so very literally.
That’s how Concierge Ryan finds Hollie: drenched, shivering, and starving. Little did Hollie know that the moment Ryan saved her from her miserable escapade, he just saved her in all the ways a girl could be saved, in all the ways that mattered.
Ryan showed Hollie a different side of him that day, a kind and beautiful man that is almost a world apart from the annoying concierge she has known him to be. He excites her, she makes him laugh… but just when they’ve found each other, fate had different plans. Will Hollie lose the only man that has ever made her feel again?
Okay, so the whole Ryan-Hollie thing was sweet. Their banter was endearing but I wish there could have been more build up between the two of them. Their relationship could have used more substance. It lacked a certain oomph, I think.
I was terrified and utterly surprised by the turn of events, though. I did NOT see that one coming! I enjoyed that little plot twist. I think the whole event added a little more of the oomph I was looking for between Ryan and Hollie.
Although I think it would have been more fun with more Ryan-Hollie moments, I appreciated the fact that MUST LOVE OTTERS is not solely about the lovey-dovey stuff. I loved that it was mostly about Hollie’s personal quest to find the courage to leave what she thinks she should be doing to go fight for the things she truly wanted the most. It may have taken her a while to realize what that meant and to get to that point but she did… and that’s what matters in the end.
It was an enjoyable experience to share in Hollie’s journey of finding who she is in the place she only thought of as a temporary escape from the life she thought she could never leave.