Larry has had more bad luck than anyone really deserves. Working a dead-end job where his hours keep getting reduced through no fault of his own and barely making ends meet, the bottom really falls out when he is hit with a fifteen-day until eviction notice and no prospects of any place to live or a better job.
Bo is fed up being a short order cook for the enlisted men and has just signed on for a degree with a culinary school only to find out it has gone belly up and absconded with his hard earned money. When these two strangers meet after answering an ad placed by a reclusive millionaire, they are willing to take the chance on him and maybe even each other. But all is not as it seems at the Stanhope mansion, nor are all the players in this story who they claim to be. Motives run deep and dark in some and someone is hiding their real desires—Larry just hopes it doesn’t spell disaster for him in the form of a broken heart yet again.
This story started a bit slow for me. I’m not sure if I was just expecting it to go at a faster pace or the characters just took some time to get to know, but either way I really felt the pacing lagged a bit until about halfway in—then it took off like a rocket for me and was really a lovely story right through to the end. When Jimmy arrives, we get to see a bit more of Larry’s personality, albeit not a great deal and I think that was the main problem with this novel. I felt that Bo was rather transparent, while Larry was so conflicted about revealing any of his inner emotions or thoughts that I found myself wondering exactly what it was that Roger Stanhope saw in him that made him remark again and again how kind and thoughtful Larry was.
Larry was written as playing his thoughts so close to the vest that I felt he became almost non-existent in this story, at times. However, when Jimmy comes along he pulls Larry out into the light, so to speak, and I felt we began to get a sense of who Larry really was and I began to like him much more. I felt connected to him and Jimmy both. I liked seeing the snippets of their interactions and watching their relationship develop. However if I am really being honest, I had the best time reading about old Roger and his ghostly lover, Jeremy, as well as Mrs. Price, the cook. I felt the three of them were most definitely the most fully fleshed out characters—funny considering one of them was a ghost! They also decidedly provided much needed humor and a bit of sauciness that made the story that much more fun.
Love Wanted was a bit of a writing departure for Inman, in that it was a fairly tame plot wise—no clever schemes or quirky, outrageous characters like we are used to seeing from this author. Even Jeremy the ghost/poltergeist was fairly sedate until near the end of the novel. Even so it was a very sweet romance—one that is sure to satisfy those looking for an angst-free summer read that hits all the romantic feels one might want.
A review copy of this book was provided by Dreamspinner Press.