Review: Checking You Out by Ann Whynot

Rating: 4/5  Green Valley Library Book 10

This is the second Smartpants Romance book by Ann Whynot and if you read her first, Dewey We Belong Together, you have met our characters. Norman is Jonathan’s best friend and business partner. He has decided to relocate to Green Valley with Jonathan. Coincidentally, Max’s best friend, Lois, has recently relocated to our favorite small town in Tennessee. Life has not gone to Lois’ plan and she is hoping for a fresh start with her six year old daughter. However, she has kept her trepidation about meeting Norman a secret. 

Lois and Norman have a past that included love and hopes of a future together. Norman abruptly broke her heart, while he fulfilled family expectations of joining the military. His time in service left him with chronic pain that led to addiction. He has worked hard to fight his addiction and a promising future. But with any chronic condition there will be flairs. Lois followed through with some of the plans that she had made with Norm as a young adult. But she has found herself a divorced, single mom at a young age and with an interesting co-parenting situation. 

I was happy to see this story flow naturally from the end of Ann’s last book. We know all the characters a bit already but get to learn more. I was glad that Lois and Norm’s past was not a huge stumbling block for them and they handled their situations with maturity. Norm was such a sweetheart that was always doing all he could for others. Lois balanced him out well and was the support that he needed. Elsa, Lois’ daughter, was cute and so smart. The situation with her father was different but believable for Lois’ character. This was a second chance romance that felt as if it was still the first chance. And the group of characters as a whole are geeky and lovable. There are little easter eggs in there for fans of games, movies, and shows but nothing that will be important if you miss it. I love seeing authors grow and hope we see more from Ann Whynot soon.