Second in a series begun with the well-received Whistlin Dixie in a Nor’easter (2009), in which Patton’s heroine Leelee returns to her native Memphis.
As she flees the endless winter of Vermont, Leelee Satterfield reflects that it was her ex’s dream to run a B&B in Yankee territory, not hers. It’s not an easy decision: Fiery (her nickname) redhead Leelee had turned the once mildewed inn into a thriving Southern-themed country hostel and starred restaurant, with the help of handsome chef Peter. Just before her departure, Peter, who has not hitherto acknowledged the frisson between them, kisses Leelee. Back in Memphis with two young daughters, Leelee depends on her late parents’ former housekeeper, Kissie, to handle the domestic front. Kissie, who talks like Mammy in Gone with the Wind, babysits, cooks and “Lawds” up a storm, while Leelee finds employment at Classic Hits FM 99. Her three BFFs welcome Leelee back with peach daiquiris and dubious advice. On the job, she contends with the pranks of lovable DJ Johnny and the smarmy advances of the hygiene-challenged midday jock Stan, not to mention her cold-fish boss who warns her against fraternizing with the luminaries who visit the station. However, when rock star Liam White stops by on his tour, he’s so taken with Leelee that he offers her an all-expenses-paid trip to his gig in NYC. Leelee has misgivings (she’s still hung up on Peter but her letters to him go unsent), but after assurances that her groupie status will be purely platonic, she goes. Naturally her decision results in some complications. Patton, a broadcast veteran, knows her radio, but much of the book feels padded, and the foregone conclusion is telegraphed from the beginning by the title.
Absent the fish-out-of-water-in-Vermont aspect, this sequel flounders.