This was my "cleanse the palate" read. I usually stick to urban fantasy, with side trips down scifi, horror or high fantasy. But when I read a book that's just amazing to me, then I have to read either another amazing book or something completely out of the genre, because all other books just pale in comparison...
First of all, though, take a look at the cover - I love it. It's sexy, and at the same time it's spare. A dark background, a red house (it looks like a monopoly game house) and just the hint of a profile with beautiful lips. It works - and if I had seen this in a bookstore, the cover would have snagged my interest. It's a good cover.
I have to honestly say - I enjoyed reading this novel. The main character - Molly - is a single mom who has recently relocated with her life sister (that's a sister who isn't born your sister, but fills the sister need-I don't know if it's a real term or has ever been used before, hell - I don't even know if it makes sense, just go with it.) to a Colorado town, taken a real estate course and has just been hired on in one of the biggest real estate business's in town. All on the prediction of a psychic that she had visited.
Molly and three other "newbies" are hired on, and work together - finding out that there are so many unexpected expenses and hidden costs....I don't know how anyone makes it in that type of business. Anyway, these four learn how to rely a bit on each other - some more than others. This novel takes Molly on a hell of a journey of self-discovery. She discovers hidden strengths, latent "female power", and even some tendencies that she's not proud of. In fact, I respect that Devin O'Branagan didn't sugar coat some of the ways that Molly behaved. I think it's very easy for authors to portray their characters as being a lot better than other people or having a much higher sense of integrity than other characters, people just aren't completely good 24/7. Molly gets impatient with people, she agrees to things she doesn't quite feel comfortable with all in the name of making money. Molly is driven to succeed all for her daughter-but falls into the same pit that a lot of parents end up in. Trying to make enough money for the kid's sake, and yet having to spend most of the time away from the kid, when they just want time with their parents.
Red Hot Property is not only about Molly's foray into business, but it's a story of her trying to find love, friendships and a balance of work and life. It's also about Molly learning to believe in herself.
A lot of things happen for Molly - good and bad. At times things worked out almost too well for her, and at other times if something could go wrong it did. Throughout the book, we're treated to glimpses of house showings and all the strange and quirky people that one deals with when dealing with the public.
Some of the best characters were Val - one of the newbies who seemed to be very comfortable with his own gay lifestyle, and yet was still dealing with a bit of resentment from the bigotry that gay men (and women) tend to get stuck with; Talisman, Val's dog who is treated just like a person; Percy, who was a money guy that still wears old-fashioned bows and isn't quite 21st century. There are a lot of other great characters - a broker who is obsessed with all things Star Trek, a super-religious broker who invokes Jesus and God in all her dealings.
I found some of the dialogue to be a teeny bit dramatic, but on the whole I enjoyed it. Afterall, there was quite a variety of characters - all different and all with quirks. Be aware, that even though this book is mostly humorous, there are a couple of things that are sad - but it's handled quickly and handled well.
Red Hot Property was a fun readshow more