Hurricane Lily by Rebecca Rogers Maher
April 15, 2013
Reviewed by Mandi
Favorite Quote: For the love of all that was holy, she was about to be fucked by the handyman.
And the handyman has a beard! Anyone else excited? The heroine does get dirty with her handyman but it’s not quite as simple as it sounds. This author starts this book with two characters deliciously layered with deep, emotional problems. By all accounts they should have never hooked up, but the author makes it work pretty well. I think the last quarter of the book loses steam and unravels a bit but I’ll get to that in a minute. First let me talk about the good stuff.
Lily Sawyer grew up in New York, wealthy, privileged and miserable. From infancy, she has had severe anxiety and the fact that her father treats her horribly and her mother committed suicide when she was fifteen did not help things. She is obsessed with the world ending or horrible events that could take place. She has meticulously hoarded tons of emergency supplies to be prepared for any situation. She always assumes the worst. Needing to get away from her judgmental friends and family, she tells her father she is going to renovate a falling down house they own at the Cape. This is the house her mother would take her to every summer, where they could dress down and just relax away from the high society of New York. When Lily arrives, she knows the house will need a lot of work but she loves it. She also moves in and literally can’t step back outside. Inside for the past five months, the outside world has become a very scary place.
Using all of her internal effort, she hires a contractor to come out and totally renovate the house. For as much as this scares her, she knows if she doesn’t take this step, she won’t have this house to live in the next year. When Cliff Buckley knocks on her door to start construction, it changes her life.
Cliff hates rich people who come out from the city and demand he work for them. He likes the money they are willing to throw around, but he hates the rich’s pretension and that they are better than he is. He is an inherently angry man. As he says, “to his mind, a person who was not angry at the state of the world was not awake.” He lost his father to cancer awhile ago and has just a sour outlook on life. When he first meets Lily, he thinks “ice queen.” He mistakes her nervousness and anxiety as snooty and snobby.
I found Lily and Cliff to be so interesting in the first half of this book. Cliff is so explosive and angry and his character was so intense and real. He literally hates Lily and she has complex thoughts about him as well. Lily is so damaged and nervous – together I just couldn’t get enough of their interactions. He is so rude to her, yet you could sympathize a little with his emotions.
The way they come together physically is just as intense. The author makes their first couple of sexual encounters gritty and dark and sexy. I really enjoyed.
Once they break through that barrier and start to realize the other person might actually be a good person, the book became a bit weaker to me. I liked that they go to a happy place but I needed more time for Lily to overcome her mental and emotional issues. She is on a rigid medication schedule, she hasn’t left the house for months..these are things I wanted to be addressed and unfold more slowly. Instead it felt rushed. The very end felt too dramatic.
But I liked most of this book enough to recommend. It was different and I’m glad I read it.