Did you ever notice how words, even though they are just a relatively short group of letters, have such power over us? This past week some of my least favorite words were biopsy, tumor, surgery, specialist – well, you get the idea. My stomach churned with fear, time kind of stopped and everything was bleak.
Then just as suddenly all was right again as we heard all clear, extremely lucky and laparoscopic! We were on a roller coaster of emotion, with the diagnosis changing from possible Stage 4 to not even a tumor. Leaving hubby to rest, I triumphantly drove home from the hospital 30 miles away to eat and let the dogs out and just as quickly my least favorite words changed to dog and skunk and spray!
After the peroxide, baking soda and dish soap sudsing, followed by another bath with pet shampoo, my Norwegian Elkhound, Inga, kind of resembles a cotton ball. Hubby is home from the hospital, not fully recovered but well on his way to feeling better.
I’ve been cleaning with a vengeance to rid the place of any lingering smell — vacuuming, mopping and setting out small dishes of vinegar to absorb the odors. So now my house smells only faintly like a skunk dyeing Easter eggs <grin>
Head Over Heels for the Boss by Susan Meier
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Isabelle Cooper has worked in her family’s flower shop forever, even though she now has an MBA. And she always assumed she’d take over the shop someday — until her parents decide to retire and sell the shop to the Donovan family. Yikes, now her boss will be gorgeous, brooding Devon Donovan, the guy she’s had a secret crush on forever. Or maybe not so secret, if Devon remembers how mortified she was when he’d just returned from a tour in Afghanistan and he turned down her invitation to her high school prom.
Devon knows about Izzy’s degree and he has plans for her to work with him on the family investments rather than the flower shop, that is until he sees her for the first time in years. She’s beautiful and all grown up now and he’s rethinking whether it’s a good idea for them to work together so closely. He’d never take advantage of an employee, but Izzy or Belle as she haughtily says she wants to be called, is tempting enough to make him want to break his own rule.
It’s all Izzy can do not to drool after Devon cause he’s even more gorgeous than she remembers. And when her friends give her some clothes and makeup tips, Devon is drooling a little himself! Beauty and brains is a combination he may not be able to resist.
There’s a darker and interesting backstory about the Donovan family and their abusive father. Being the oldest son, Devon tried to help his mother and protect his young brothers from their father’s wrath, and, of course, his ideas about love and relationships were shaped by his ugly childhood. Izzy, on the other hand, is an only child with a loving, very close knit family.
Charming, thoughtful, sexy and entertaining; a thoroughly enjoyable read!
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Her Unexpected Detour by Kyra Jacobs
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Someone at Kayla Daniel’s Ft. Wayne advertising job wants to cause trouble for her – enough trouble to get her suspended. She’s so furious that when they ask her to take an unpaid leave, she gets in her car and just keeps on driving, right to Mount Pleasant, Michigan where her brother, Tommy lives.
She didn’t think about the roads being so icy, though, and when her car skids off the road and she can’t get any cell reception there’s no choice but to start walking. When hunky Brent Masterson sees a car down in a ditch, he knows he can’t just drive by, even though he’d really rather not get involved. But when he sees it’s the gorgeous brunette he saw earlier at the diner in town and she’s slipping along the icy road in a skirt and high heels, he KNOWS he shouldn’t get involved. Of course he can’t just drive by, so he grits his teeth and insists that he give her a ride.
They end up at his Grandma Ruby’s bed and breakfast that Brent has been busy fixing up to reopen. Ruby insists on feeding Kayla and offering her a room for the night. And after Ruby sees them together, she knows this is the girl for her gruff grandson.
Kayla’s mom died when she was a young girl and her dad lives near her apartment in Ft Worth, IN and she wants to get back home so he’s not alone, even though she knows she could fall in love with Brent and the beautiful old bed and breakfast. And Brent’s suffered some major losses in his life and tells himself he will not, cannot get involved with this enticing girl. So when his attractive and glib cousin Miles meets and effortlessly flirts with Kayla, why does it bother Brent so much?
A very cute and quick read with a sweet, small town Midwestern setting. I loved all the characters, especially spunky Ruby, the hostess with the mostest!
The Yellow Rose Beauty Shop by Carolyn Brown
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
If you love Carolyn Brown books, you will love this story about Cadillac, Texas and what happens when Nancy Baxter decides she wants grandbabies and the surefire way to get them is to put daughter Stella on the church prayer list and find her a husband fast. Nobody knows that Stella is already seeing someone secretly and first she’s worried and embarrased and then she’s just plain furious with her mama!
Stella owns the Yellow Rose Beauty Shop in town and she’s a red headed beauty with a past everyone thinks is as hot as the local jalepneos. She’s trying to mend her ways and move on, but when snotty newcomer Heather decides to start a match making service for all the single ladies in town and plans an elegant but costly ball, Stella and her friends Charlotte and Piper just have to sabotage that plan…
I thought the book was rollicking good fun, sometimes bawdy and outrageous, sometimes prim and proper, as Ms. Brown does so well. It’s also a great story of southern sisterhood in a small town where everybody really does know your name and your business!
Received this book as an ARC from Net Galley.