My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars
A very enjoyable, quick read of a young woman trying to find her place in the world.
Summary via Goodreads:
As the only child of a wealthy investment manager, Ellie Chapman has never known anything besides a life of perfect privilege. But her years of good fortune come to an abrupt end when her father is exposed for swindling billions of dollars from innocent investors in a massive Ponzi scheme. And just like that, Ellie loses everything: money, job, home–even her fiance, who’s jailed as her father’s partner in crime. With no job prospects on the horizon, no cash, and her family name in tatters, Ellie has only one place to go.
Sleepy St. Dennis, Maryland, is hardly where Ellie intends to stay, however. Keeping her identity a secret, she plans to sell the house her late mother left her in the small town and use the proceeds to move on with her life. Unfortunately, her ticket to a new beginning is in dire need of a laundry list of pricey improvements, many of which she’ll have to do herself. And until the house on Bay View Road is fit to be sold, the sole place Ellie will be traveling is the hardware store. But as the many charms of St. Dennis–not to mention Cameron O’Connor, the handsome local contractor who has secrets of his own–begin to work their magic, what begins as a lesson in do-it-yourself renovations might just end up as Ellie’s very own rejuvenation.
This was an all-out feel good book. I’ve read most (but not all) of this series, and that isn’t always true for the other books, at least within the range allowed by the romance genre.
I really liked getting to know Ellie, a young woman who had lived a life of privilege, and then had everything taken from her– not just material things, but she lost her father and fiance when they were jailed for crimes she never imagined them capable of. She’s devastated, but is ready to start rebuilding her life. This is a character archetype that generally appeals to me– clearly damaged by life, but continuing even while dealing with the injuries.
And where better to rebuild than St. Dennis. Ellie doesn’t know that, she thinks she’s just passing through. Ellie is suspicious of everyone, since most of her friends deserted her when life got rough, and she treats the people in the town accordingly. But the people here know what it is like to face adversity, and they make allowances.
Cameron was a nice guy, perfect for her, and understands what she’s going through, or at least the part about living with a parent with a bad reputation. He was a solid character, if possibly a little too good to be true, but I enjoyed watching the interactions between him and Ellie.
And yes, there were steamy bits, but they were just bits. This isn’t the book to read for extended erotic interludes. You can consider this a plus or a minus, depending on your preferences.
Once I could relax and know it was an everything-will-be-OK kind of book, I liked the twists and turns the plot took, I liked the new characters that were introduced. One of the fun things about a series like this is the cameos by the characters in previous books. There is no need to have read them, but if you have, you get a quick visit to where the characters are now. I like that.
This romance won’t be for everyone, some will find it too nice. Me? This is exactly the way I like it.
I read this book as part of a TLC Book Tour. Thank you for the opportunity to read this book and participate. You can find more about Mariah Stewart on her website or on Facebook. For other views on the book, check out the other tour stops:
- Monday, January 28th: Reviews from the Heart
- Tuesday, January 29th: Novel Reaction
- Thursday, January 31st: I Am A Reader, Not A Writer - Q&A
- Monday, February 4th: Books in the Burbs
- Tuesday, February 5th: Literally Jen
- Wednesday, February 6th: Romancing the Book Home for the Summer review
- Wednesday, February 6th: Romancing the Book - guest post
- Thursday, February 7th: Joyfully Retired
- Thursday, February 7th: Reviews by Molly
- Friday, February 8th: Romancing the Book
- Monday, February 11th: Seaside Book Nook review/author Q&A
- Wednesday, February 13th: Lesa’s Book Critiques
- Thursday, February 14th: Sharon’s Garden of Book Reviews
- Friday, February 15th: Kelly’s Lucky You
- Monday, February 18th: Literally Jen – author guest post
- Monday, February 18th: Adventures of an Intrepid Reader
- Tuesday, February 19th: Good Girl Gone Redneck
- Wednesday, February 20th: Life in the Thumb
- Thursday, February 21st: Booked on a Feeling
- Monday, February 25th: From the TBR Pile
- Tuesday, February 26th: From L.A. to LA
- Wednesday, February 27th: Mom in Love with Fiction
- Thursday, February 28th: Sara’s Organized Chaos
- Friday, March 1st: The Book Pushers
- Date TBD: A Cozy Reader’s Corner