Rating: 4/5 PoP:18%
Lara Haley is not having a good day, week, month, or year. Days from their divorce being final her husband dies and she runs him over with a car. Her new neighbor is none other than her childhood crush, who also works for LBC Development. The company that plans to bring an Americmart to their little town, if only they can get the reclusive book owner to sell their property. A bookstore that is incredibly important to Lara. As much as she conforms to the expectations of those around her, Lara has been quietly reaching her own goals. Will Kenner was considered a childhood delinquent and is determined to prove to this town that he defied the expectations they had for him.
This story is a laugh out loud zany small town romance with a hit of mystery. The characters have a past that takes time to resolve or rather for all the details to be known. The possibility of a large corporation coming into town is central to both of the main characters’ livelihood. Lara and Will both want to support each other at the same time fulfilling their own dreams. Even as their intimacy grew, I was unsure how the Americamart/bookstore piece would be reconciled. Maggie Preston did a great job of wrapping everything up in a satisfying but still funny way.
I really enjoyed the humor and townspeople in this book. I wish Lara had more confidence in herself earlier in life but was happy to see her growth in this book. The juxtaposition of the expectations placed on Will and her make it so anyone can relate to the main characters. The Caldwell family’s perceived perfection and the righteousness of the Coalition for Order and Decency is comical in an almost sad way because we all know people like them. I do think this book could have been told in first person and felt a bit more personal, but it still connects. This was my first book by Preston but I look forward to reading more.