Sunday, March 27, 2016

HOLLY LANE by Toni Blake

Publisher:     Avon     
Published:     October 25, 2011 
ISBN:        978-0062024602
Genre:      Contemporary Romance
Format:     Print  
Obtained via:  Publisher
Reviewed by name and email address:  Gina


The last thing Sue Ann Simpkins along with the rest of her home town of Destiny, Ohio expected was for her husband—high school sweetheart—Jeff to announce he’d fallen in love with another woman.  Six months later he devastates her again by telling her—in a letter no less—that he and his new wife are planning a family and he’s going to stop her alimony payments.  Worse, he threatens to take custody of their daughter, Sophie, if she fights him.  With the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays around the corner Sue Ann thinks the best thing for her is to get away for a few days and in quiet and solitude, figure out what to do next.  What she doesn’t expect is for Jeff’s best friend, Adam Becker, to show up at the same cabin she’s rented. 

At first she wants Adam gone.  After all, she was there first.  Adam, on the other hand, is not in the best of moods himself because he’s looking at the holidays without his twin boys, courtesy of his ex-wife’s parents.  Initially Adam decides Sue Ann can have the cabin—he’s heading back to Destiny.  But an easy escape is not to be.  It seems mother nature has sent a major snow storm their way and Adam soon finds himself back at the cabin.  As the evening wears on Sue Ann and Adam find themselves becoming closer and closer and as an the night wears on they find themselves confronting a smouldering attraction to each other, one that actually began long before they met their now former spouses. 

But attraction or not – it’s awkward.  Adam is Jeff’s best friend; Sue Ann his former wife and Destiny is a small town.  Then again, is that really enough to stop the power of true love?

There is a certain appealing innocence to the people of Destiny.  Everyone seems to really like each other.  Sure, they have their stories and their history, but deep down they like each other.  But even in a town as nice as Destiny I just couldn’t get behind everyone, including Sue Ann, thinking Jeff is just fine.  Okay, she does get irritated at him, but she just gives in.  She wants to be a strong person and hold her own, but really?  Your ex-husband threatens to take away your alimony and your child and you don’t get your own lawyer?  And this guy is your best friend and you’re torn between what a jerk he is and throttling him because you’re long-time friends?  It’s just not believable.

That said, Blake’s writing is entertaining and she does touch on subjects that at some point affect us all.  In this particular story she intersperses lines from Dickens’ A CHRISTMAS CARROL along with a stray kitten named Dickens.  Parts of the story parallel Dickens’ famous story and it’s a fun twist. 

Each of the Destiny stories is a standalone and do not have to be read in order.  Each gives you a chance to catch up with or meet prior characters.

This is an objective review and not an endorsement of this book.

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