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    For the Love of Pete by Julia Harper
  • Author:
  • Published: Dec 26th, 2008

harper_petereview.jpgReviewed by Andrea Williamson
Publisher: Forever (Grand Central)
Release Date: January 1, 2009
4.5 stars

Last January, Julia Harper (also known as USA Today bestselling historical author Elizabeth Hoyt) debuted with her contemporary hit, Hot.  I loved it!  It was unique and refreshingly funny with utterly endearing characters.  It also featured an especially charming secondary character, Dante Torelli, and For the Love of Pete is his story.

Zoey Addler is livid.  Dante Torelli, her upstairs neighbor, just stole the parking spot she finished shoveling snow from only moments ago.  While arguing, they notice a man running out of the apartment complex with a baby under one arm and a gun in his other hand.  Dante knocks Zoey to the ground as shots ring out.  When the kidnapper gets into a Hummer and drives away, Zoey doesn’t think twice about jumping into Dante’s BMW to give chase.  Because it wasn’t just any baby that the man snatched — it was Zoey’s niece, Pete.

Dante cannot believe his bad luck.  First, his crazy redheaded neighbor, Zoey, body slams the hood of his car over a parking space.  Then, a middle-aged man holding the toddler of the man he’s protecting starts shooting at him.  After that, Zoey jumps in his car when he chases after the kidnapper.  Subsequently, while stuck in traffic, they see the Hummer pull into a convenience store and two elderly ladies wearing Indian saris steal it (and Pete) after the thief goes inside.  When Dante and Zoey are finally able to pull into the parking lot and drive around to see if they can spot either the ladies’ car or the kidnapper walk out, they are shot at by Chicago PD.  Can it get any worse?  The answer is yes.  On top of all that, someone in the Chicago FBI is a traitor and trying to frame Dante for a series of murders.  And thus begins a mad-cap race and zany switcheroo of not one, but two babies and one case of very fine, but very illegal Indian saffron.

I always enjoy a good “opposites attract” storyline and this one is top notch!  Zoey is unconventional and quirky, says goofy things and wears clothes that clash.  She is totally contrary to Dante, who wears designer suits, a Cartier watch and drives a stylish Beemer.  As they are forced to spend days confined together while attempting to retrieve Pete, they begin to learn that despite their many differences, both are looking for the same things in life: someone to trust, someone to need, someone to love.

For the Love of Pete is an action-packed, poignant and funny story of two contradictory people who discover love on the road while dodging bullets, outsmarting a hit man and risking everything to rescue an adorable toddler.  Mix in some sharp dialogue and a cast of wacky, yet unforgettable secondary characters and Ms. Harper has penned another hit!

6 Responses to “For the Love of Pete by Julia Harper”

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  1. Kara
    on Dec 27th, 2008
    @ 9:17 am

    Hot, was a great ‘caper’ book – a true romantic comedy – so I’m looking forward to reading For the Love of Pete. Julia Harper has a great contemporary voice and I do love when an author who is so very good at historicals gives voice to a contemporary tale. Hot also had a quirky heroine and Harper seems to do quirky very well. Thanks for the review Andrea, I’m looking forward to this one.


  2. Marisa
    on Dec 27th, 2008
    @ 10:53 am

    You know, Julia Harper’s Hot put me in mind of those great Cary Grant caper movies. I enjoyed the fast paced, snappy dialogue and the zany heroine. I’m really looking forward to reading For the Love of Pete. I’ve always enjoyed the kind of ‘road’ story where two people who would never spend time together, have to spend time together and in the process turn out to have more in common then they originally thought.


  3. Andrea
    on Dec 27th, 2008
    @ 12:01 pm

    Thanks, Kara and Marisa! It’s really good and I hope y’all enjoy it! 🙂


  4. Buffie
    on Dec 27th, 2008
    @ 1:37 pm

    Andrea, you know I haven’t read any of Julia Harper’s books, so I guess I need to be changing that fact! Sounds like a great book — one that you would not want to put down. Great review!


  5. Gannon
    on Dec 28th, 2008
    @ 9:40 am

    Sounds like another winner! Excellent review, Andrea!


  6. Stacy ~
    on Dec 28th, 2008
    @ 6:20 pm

    Great review! I have “Hot” from when I met Julia/Elizabeth this summer, and now I feel like I need to read it asap. Can’t wait to read this one either.

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