Family feuds are the stuff of legend as the Sterlings and the Lockwoods can readily attest. This particular feud has been brewing for three generations with no end in sight, right up until Sophia Sterling and Weston Lockwood are sent by their respective grandfathers to represent their inherited shares in The Countess, a grand old hotel on New York’s fashionable West Side. Even though Sophia and Weston have known each other since high school they’ve kept with tradition and maintained the rivalry every time they encountered one another.
Weston Lockwood represents everything Sophia detests in a man. He’s egotistical, cocky and too smooth to be trusted. He’s also drop-dead gorgeous and even though Sophia won’t admit it, her panties nearly melt when she encounters him. What’s worse, every time they see each other they fight, and then wind up in bed together. Except for the times they don’t make it to the bedroom. Now that they’re thrown together on a daily basis the situation has heated to the boiling point and someone is likely to get burned.
I love Vi Keeland’s writing. It’s a shade edgier than her collaborations with P. Ward and her characters are a bit more off-beat as well, which is very satisfying for those who are not offended by a steamy romp. You can count me in that category. That said, in the early chapters of “The Rivals” I didn’t much like Weston Lockwood. He comes across as overbearing and way too full of himself but as the story unfolds we see through the brash facade Weston wears like a suit of armor. Why he feels the need for protection is the heart of the story and it’s a very big heart indeed. Four and a half stars.
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