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Pride and Piña Coladas (Paradise Bay #5) by Melanie Summers



I’m Nora Cooper—single woman about to turn thirty, wildly unsuccessful plant fanatic, and event planner at Paradise Bay Resort. My shot at ‘the big time’ has finally arrived—the resort is hosting the World Bartender Championships and I’ve been asked to head up the hospitality team. 

There’s only one big problem. And his name is Theo Rojas. You’ve heard of his family—they own Rojas Rum (and about 200 other premium liquors, some of which may be on your shelf right now). As the major sponsor of the event, Theo has decided to be onsite, micromanaging every second of the competition. 

He’s stuck up, rude, and arrogant (and a bunch of other adjectives I had better not use). He also seems to have added ‘make Nora’s life absolute hell’ to the top of his to-do list. 

Too bad for Mr. Grumpy Chinos because he doesn’t know who he’s dealing with. I’ve taken on far worse foes than him. And if he thinks he’s going to get the best of me, he’s in for a wake-up call.

So when we find ourselves stranded on a private island overnight, I’m determined to put him in his place once and for all. 

Only somehow, instead of continuing our constant sparring, we wind up kissing. And I did NOT expect him to kiss like that.

And now I have totally forgotten all the nasty things I was planning to say to him. Something about him being arrogant, right?

Gah! Someone please send help because I absolutely CANNOT fall for this guy…


Though I started with book 5 of this series, it works as a standalone and I enjoyed the angsty characters and beautiful setting.

Nora and Theo are made for each other as Theo’s brother Markos states. They are both tightly wound workaholics with no personal lives. Well, that’s about to change.

Nora Cooper is working hard to get that promotion from event coordinator to managing a team. She has no time for a personal life. Her dream is to purchase a small cottage on the beach with a beautiful garden and her big break is the World Bartending Championships. She needs to nail this job and her promotion is in the bag. Until she meets the arrogant and wealthy Theo Rojas of Rojas Rum who is sponsoring his brand at the event. There is one thing she has learned about the rich and they are rude, demanding, and they treat service industry folks like dirt. And Theo Rojas is no exception with the unkind words she overheard him speak to his brother about her. The less she sees of this man the better.

Theo Rojas is trying to save his company and his 8,000 employees from the scandal that tarnished his reputation and lost major sales. He promised himself he would never trust his idiot brother Markos again, but he really had no choice but to be a part of this wild and risky idea of sponsoring a bartending championship. He’s used to being in control, but it looks like Nora Cooper, the event coordinator is going to be a challenge. He regrets what she overheard him say and he means to apologize. Little did he know she would change his life forever.

Nora and Theo have a rocky road ahead as they resist their attraction while working hard to keep their professional reputations. It doesn’t help with the many misunderstandings and unsavory and unlikeable characters making it even more difficult. Nora doesn’t trust anyone else to help her because she’s a control freak who works much too hard. Theo wishes he could start his own company from the ground up and not constantly worry about the company that has been in his family for many years. In the beginning, I found them both to be snobs in their own right.  What they both learn is that no matter how rich or poor you are, there are prejudices on both sides. It takes a sudden storm that strands them on a secluded island to make them see each other in a new light and the attraction gathers momentum until life happens and nasty people start to interfere. Throw in an irresponsible sister and a scandal that could ruin Nora’s family, and you get a man ready to prove his love with no strings attached. Don’t worry. There is a happy ending where the girl gets the boy.

There are supporting characters, good and bad, that add depth to the story including Nora’s family including her pushy aunt, her careless and unambitious sister, and her pastor parents. There are also Theo’s carefree and unprofessional brother, Markos, and Carolina Armas, the wealthy, bitchy old friend from Theo’s past who will do anything to make Theo hers. 

This is a sweet and clean romantic comedy with plenty of angst and a beautiful setting. Who wouldn’t want to live on a beautiful island?  Pick up this lovely book. I certainly can’t wait to read the rest of this series.

Thank you to Ms. Summers for giving me the opportunity to read this book with no expectation of a positive review.


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She’s completely flustered, and I have to say I’m enjoying this more than I should. But hey, she’s accused me of some pretty rotten things, so I’d say it’s only fair.

“Nothing… I don’t know. But now that we’re stranded here, I’m off the clock, so for the next however many hours we’re stuck here together, I’m not an events coordinator, and you’re not a guest who…needs things. We’re just two people who happen to be stranded in the same villa. So, don’t think you can tell me to get out of my wet clothes, because I’ll decide if and when I’m going to take my clothes off!”

“Someone clearly thinks highly of herself if she’s suggesting I want to get her naked,” I say before pursing my lips.

Nora gasps. “She does not!”

I shrug. “If you say so, but it really did seem like it when you said that whole thing about not ‘giving it to me,’ when the only reason I suggested getting out of our wet clothes is because you’re shivering and I came across a couple of plush bathrobes in the closet when I went to find the towels.”

“Oh,” she says, dropping her shoulders a little.

“There’s also a washing machine and a dryer, so I’m planning to launder my things, but if you want to stay—” I point to her—“as you are, suit yourself. I am going to have a hot shower.”

Her teeth start to chatter, but she still has that stubborn look on her face. “I can see how that would be a reasonable idea.”

“Is that your way of apologizing?”

“I don’t owe you an apology,” she snaps.

“Don’t you? Where I come from, when we make false accusations, we apologize and then commit to not doing it again,” I tell her. And before I can stop myself, I add, “But perhaps that’s only common courtesy among the top one percent of the world.”

Her cheeks turn bright red and she sputters, “You know what? I am going to have a shower. A nice, long one, but not because you told me to. Because I want to.”

“Have fun, Captain Justice,” I murmur when she turns to leave the room.

That did it. She does a U-turn. “Captain Justice?” she hisses.

“I’d say that suits someone who thinks she’s the paragon of all things just in this world, listening to only one side of a story and casting judgment on who’s right and who’s the devil.” Okay, so now I’m just being a jerk, but at this point, I don’t care. “Or should I call you Captain Jumps to Conclusions, based on you accusing me of trying to get you into bed just now?”

“Captain Jumps to Conclusions? Do you even hear yourself? That’s quite possibly the most ridiculous thing anyone has ever said in the history of speaking!”

“Captain Accusations, then?” I ask calmly.

“You are the most rude, most arrogant, entitled man I’ve ever met!” she shouts, moving towards me until she’s so close she has to tilt her head back to look up at me. “You should be called Captain Thinks His Shit Doesn’t Stink!”

I scoff, leaning closer to her. “It’s not so easy, is it? Coming up with sarcastic super-hero names when you’re angry.”

“No, it’s not!” she yells.

“Exactly! So don’t make fun of my attempt,” I yell back, too angry to laugh at the level of insanity we’ve reached.

 I stare down at her face, only inches from mine. She’s still shivering, and even though I’m furious, I want to wrap my arms around her and warm her up. Or kiss her hard on the mouth. Or both.


Pride And Pina Coladas-Ebook (2)

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Melanie 2Melanie Summers also writes steamy romance as MJ Summers.

Melanie made a name for herself with her debut novel, Break in Two, a contemporary romance that cracked the Top 10 Paid on Amazon in both the UK and Canada, and the top 50 Paid in the USA. Her highly acclaimed Full Hearts Series was picked up by both Piatkus Entice (a division of Hachette UK) and HarperCollins Canada. Her first three books have been translated into Czech and Slovak by EuroMedia. Since 2013, she has written and published three novellas, and eight novels (of which seven have been published). She has sold over a quarter of a million books around the globe.

In her previous life (i.e. before having children), Melanie got her Bachelor of Science from the University of Alberta, then went on to work in the soul-sucking customer service industry for a large cellular network provider that shall remain nameless (unless you write her personally – then she’ll dish). On her days off, she took courses and studied to become a Chartered Mediator. That designation landed her a job at the R.C.M.P. as the Alternative Dispute Resolution Coordinator for ‘K’ Division. Having had enough of mediating arguments between gun-toting police officers, she decided it was much safer to have children so she could continue her study of conflict in a weapon-free environment (and one which doesn’t require makeup and/or nylons).

Melanie resides in Edmonton with her husband, three young children, and their adorable but neurotic one-eyed dog. When she’s not writing novels, Melanie loves reading (obviously), snuggling up on the couch with her family for movie night (which would not be complete without lots of popcorn and milkshakes), and long walks in the woods near her house. She also spends a lot more time thinking about doing yoga than actually doing yoga, which is why most of her photos are taken ‘from above’. She also loves shutting down restaurants with her girlfriends. Well, not literally shutting them down, like calling the health inspector or something–more like just staying until they turn the lights off.

She is represented by Suzanne Brandreth of The Cooke Agency International. 

Follow Melanie on her website, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and Goodreads.


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