Okay. A 99 cent book. When will I learn to read an excerpt.
So here is the deal. This book has overblown descriptions, too much detail on the minutiae, and just a lack of basic punctuation. That is the bottom line. I used the rest of this review just to let it all go. Don't feel you will get much more out of the rest of this.
This book had it all, a cute title, a reasonable price for a new-to-me author, and one of my favorite tropes. No reason not to click it, right?
From the very first page, I had my doubts.
It starts with a death scene, a death scene of the wife, mother, and daughter. All one person. Everybody was there. They let the future widower go last to sit and talk his wife. All I could think of was, well, what if she hadn't lasted through all the good-byes and he missed his chance.
It was overblown, overly dramatic, and just so so not right.
Then there is a nightmare scene. Again, wrong on many levels. The nightmare victim apparently has lungs still filled with the "gut wrenching [not gut-wrenching] hospital scent lingering in them."
Then as he gets out of bed, "Following a low grunt, Caleb ran strong fingers through his thick messy black hair."
Made me wonder if the grunt was a quick little grunt or if the grunt was slow enough Caleb could catch up with him. But goodness, if you have thick messy black hair [as opposed to thick, messy, black hair, or even thick, messy black hair] it probably makes it easier to follow that grunt.
Caleb, with his soon-to-be-combed hair, can't just walk down a hall into a child's bedroom. He must walk down a "dark wood floored hallway [I will let you hyphenate that one as you will] into the pink princess room." Makes me wonder if there was a pink princess motif available at Home Depo and if the pink princess has purple and blue princess friends.
In the pink princess room we meet the plot moppet Madison. I love plot moppets. They can be as cute, sweet, precocious as they want to be. This one, on the little I read about her, has the capacity to be the cutest, sweetest, most precocious plot moppet of all.
Next we get to meet Abby, who has a cozy bed and enjoys waking up to Maroon 5. Yeah. I don't know that much about my BFF. She uses the backs of her hands to rub her eyes, and she wears cherry colored [not cherry-colored] slippers. One of her favorite events of the year is the first day of school. Well, my BFF happens to be a teacher, and I do know that she wouldn't say the same.
Although the descriptions threw me out of the book momentarily (really, I don't have a dog or cat but maybe a grunt would be easier to deal with) I kept reading because, gee, an adorable title and a plot moppet, I just couldn't tear myself away.
So our sweet and cheerful heroine dresses in black leggings, leaves her Spanish-style [yay, a hyphen; so excited] bungalow, stopping along the way to let the local tomcat rub his white fur over her dark covered [dang, I miss the hyphen already] legs, and hops into her forest green VW Jetta.
Seriously, at this point I am wondering if there will be a quiz later (she is a teacher after all), and I need to start taking notes.
So we get to the school and there is stuff going on that I can't figure out. Our girl Abby goes out to meet and greet the students, parents, and grandparents in the schoolyard. What? She sees people she knows from the community she fondly grew up in (trying to figure out how one fondly grows up).
So just as a happenstance Abby knows the plot moppet's grandparents. Yeah, go figure. Abby greets them, plops down on Madison's level, and Madison proceeds to give the e-Harmony snippet on her dad. "He likes to play in the ocean, watch hockey and give butterfly kisses."
For those who loathe the Oxford comma, this book is for you.
Anyway, Abby falls flat on her bottom upon her first sighting of Caleb. After she dusts off her "thinly covered behind" (yeah, I wondered if she thought through the whole leggings idea adequately) she hands out nametags and looks at the hockey logo on his shirt.
By this time, my finger is hovering over the delete button. As I am only 3% in, I decide to wait.
There are more punctuation issues and a situation she brings up about the siblings and nephew of a guy she used to date. Frankly, I still don't understand what that was about. I realized I didn't care enough to read it again to try to figure it out.
Blah, blah, blah, I read another 1%.
The school day is over, and Abby goes to the yard with the kids to dismiss them. While in the yard, Abby spots her BFF with a large bouquet of flowers who greets her with a kiss on the cheek to celebrate the first day of school. Seems odd to me. Maybe I should be greeting my BFF every first day of school with a bouquet of flowers. I will skip the kiss part. Makes me feel like I am letting my BFF down. Then reference is made to the BFF "pulling up the corner of her lips and winking." So many things wrong with that, I don't know where to start.
So to continue to celebrate the first day of school, the BFF rubs "her hopeful palms together" in entreaty to go out for Italian that night. Hopeful palms have no place in a schoolyard.
Abby agrees to the dinner after she "brought her shoulder to her chin while smiling again." Hmmm, sounds to me like Abby is in full-on flirt mode. Starting to get a different vibe here. A little threesome in the works, maybe. That is further confirmed by the BFF saying, "It's a date, then. I'll pick you up at 5:30."
So the BFF gets in her flower delivery truck and leaves. The BFF is a florist? Okay, that would have been a bit of a descriptor that would have set a different scene.
4% in and I am done.
Sorry. Overblown, not edited by someone who actually knows grammar, and just paints too many pictures that don't need painting. Strong Harlequin-of-the-seventies vibe, and not in a good way.