Tag Archives: small town

Outfoxed- by Melinda Metz- a review

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I received this book from Kensington Books in exchange for an unbiased review.

This was a great story. I was pulled in immediately by the premise of the legend of the fox that brings good luck and love to the people who encounter it. The town of Fox Crossing is a pretty cool place to live. Even though this is part of a series, this book can be read as a stand- alone with no problem.

The protagonist of the story, Victoria Michaud, is the owner of a shop with an eclectic offering of used goods. She dresses with abandon and I loved that about her. That she chooses to be her quirky self and doesn’t set any store by anyone who might think she looks odd is refreshing and makes her a unique character. She’s also a giving soul who helps her community in many ways. The relationships she has with her brother, Henry, is great as well. He’s come back to town after moving away after high school. He spent his teen years being bullied by a number of young men of the town due to his weight.

The antagonist, Bowen Gower, is one of those bullies. He is also back in town after having moved away and making a successful career in the city. He’s back to settle his grandfather’s estate. His sister, Tegan, is also on the scene. She’s had a hard life moving from job to job. Her brother was the golden child and she was shunted to the side. Their relationship is fractious at best. The sister is also a unique character, artistic and caring.

The sister of the antagonist and the brother of the protagonist were best friends for a couple of years in high school, each relying on the other to get through some rough times.

The side characters in the book are delightful. The man who owns the bar (named Banana) where the antagonist’s sister works is a particular favorite. I loved his personality and warm, giving, nature.

When Victoria realizes the boy who was the baseball hero who made her brother miserable for years is back in town, she is determined not to engage with him. Except, they both saw the fabled fox at the same time.

Giving no credence to the superstition about the fox, she is doubly determined to ignore the man.

The story unfolds in an enjoyable way. The friendship between the two outcast friends from high school was actually my favorite part of the book. The scenes where they reconnect are particularly enjoyable. They still have great affection for each other and reading their scenes made me smile.

There’s a secondary story about bullying by one young girl to another in the book. In my opinion, the underlying theme of the book is really about bullying and its aftermath and ways to resolve those issues and move past them. The love stories are incidental to that theme and are so well told, it’s a delightful read. This book has something for everyone. Friendship, love and family.  I highly recommend it.

Chances Are – Laurie Ryan- a Review

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I’ve been in the throes of writing the first draft of my latest book and haven’t taken time to read for a month. I started reading Chances Are at the end of October, but was only a couple of chapters in before I went on my forced diet of no reading. It was an intriguing story from the start —the hero was particularly compelling. I could actually picture him leaning against the doorway in all his macho glory. J I wasn’t sure about the heroine as she was a lawyer and I’m always leery of lawyer characters and/or law based stories. Being one myself sure can wreak havoc with my enjoyment of a book, movie, or television show. I’m hyper critical of mistakes when the law is involved. J

When I picked the story back up this weekend, I was pleasantly surprised to find the legal issues to be well done—except for a few moments of anxiety which were put at ease almost as soon as I started to twitch. J

The story was fast paced and enjoyable. The hero and heroine had great chemistry and the supporting characters (some of whom have been in other books of this series) were fully developed and delightful. I did guess one character’s secret pretty early on, but I really enjoyed her parts.

As to the villain, having known some people who had similar experiences with bad apples, the villain didn’t seem over the top to me. It could easily have gone to a situation where reality was stretched there, but didn’t. Sadly, there are too many people in the world who place blame for their situations on others. Ms. Ryan nailed that aspect of things.

Overall, this was a great read. Steamy in spots, exciting drama, and true friendships and love were shown by the main cast of characters. The next book is being written now and I’m sure it’ll be more of the same—hoping we’ll see these characters, Jackson and Aimie, again as friends with the new hero and heroine. Small town romances are the best as it’s always a possibility to run into someone you already know. Willow Bay seems like a great place to live.