A breezy romance that may appeal to fans of Jodi Thomas or Anna Schmidt.

DAISY DUKES 'N COWBOY BOOTS

In Reede’s (Blinked, 2017) romance, a woman fighting to save her land from a developer finds herself attracted to the developer’s lawyer.

Ferina Kincaid is a rancher who loves her family’s spread in Brewster County in West Texas. However, she’s struggling to keep the place afloat during a lengthy drought; to make matters more complicated, her boyfriend, Wayne, is cheating on her. Lance Morrison, her neighbor, wants to purchase the land and build a huge department store on it, but Ferina is unwilling to sell. Lance hires Houston lawyer Nolan Anderson to locate her estranged brother, Frank, hoping he can convince Frank to contest his father’s will and sell his share of the land. Nolan and his twin sister, Nadia, arrive in Brewster County expecting an uncomplicated case, but they develop some unexpected connections. Nadia begins dating Ferina’s friend Dwight White, and Nolan develops an interest in Ferina. She’s understandably wary of his intentions but soon finds herself falling in love with him. Nolan tries to ensure that Ferina receives a fair deal, but then Frank surfaces, and a series of mysterious events threaten the ranch. Soon, Ferina and Nolan wonder if their relationship can survive the chaos. The latest from Reede is an entertaining contemporary romance that offers likable characters, well-developed settings, and a generous dose of Southern charm. Ferina and Nolan are strong protagonists whose relationship grounds a multilayered plot. The supporting characters are equally well-drawn, especially Wayne and Frank. The setting is a central element of the story, and Reede creates a vivid portrait of Brewster County that not only includes Ferina’s beloved ranch, but also the Dixie Diner, a popular local restaurant. That said, the editing can be inconsistent at times; Wayne’s last name is“McKellen” and “McClellan” at different points, and legendary singer Billie Holiday is identified as “Billy Holiday.”

A breezy romance that may appeal to fans of Jodi Thomas or Anna Schmidt.

Pub Date: Feb. 25, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-62694-619-4

Page Count: 271

Publisher: Black Opal Books

Review Posted Online: April 10, 2018

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TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD

A first novel, this is also a first person account of Scout's (Jean Louise) recall of the years that led to the ending of a mystery, the breaking of her brother Jem's elbow, the death of her father's enemy — and the close of childhood years. A widower, Atticus raises his children with legal dispassion and paternal intelligence, and is ably abetted by Calpurnia, the colored cook, while the Alabama town of Maycomb, in the 1930's, remains aloof to their divergence from its tribal patterns. Scout and Jem, with their summer-time companion, Dill, find their paths free from interference — but not from dangers; their curiosity about the imprisoned Boo, whose miserable past is incorporated in their play, results in a tentative friendliness; their fears of Atticus' lack of distinction is dissipated when he shoots a mad dog; his defense of a Negro accused of raping a white girl, Mayella Ewell, is followed with avid interest and turns the rabble whites against him. Scout is the means of averting an attack on Atticus but when he loses the case it is Boo who saves Jem and Scout by killing Mayella's father when he attempts to murder them. The shadows of a beginning for black-white understanding, the persistent fight that Scout carries on against school, Jem's emergence into adulthood, Calpurnia's quiet power, and all the incidents touching on the children's "growing outward" have an attractive starchiness that keeps this southern picture pert and provocative. There is much advance interest in this book; it has been selected by the Literary Guild and Reader's Digest; it should win many friends.

Pub Date: July 11, 1960

ISBN: 0060935464

Page Count: 323

Publisher: Lippincott

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 1960

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Nothing original, but in Hilderbrand’s hands it’s easy to get lost in the story.

BAREFOOT

Privileged 30-somethings hide from their woes in Nantucket.

Hilderbrand’s saga follows the lives of Melanie, Brenda and Vicki. Vicki, alpha mom and perfect wife, is battling late-stage lung cancer and, in an uncharacteristically flaky moment, opts for chemotherapy at the beach. Vicki shares ownership of a tiny Nantucket cottage with her younger sister Brenda. Brenda, a literature professor, tags along for the summer, partly out of familial duty, partly because she’s fleeing the fallout from her illicit affair with a student. As for Melanie, she gets a last minute invite from Vicki, after Melanie confides that Melanie’s husband is having an affair. Between Melanie and Brenda, Vicki feels her two young boys should have adequate supervision, but a disastrous first day on the island forces the trio to source some outside help. Enter Josh, the adorable and affable local who is hired to tend to the boys. On break from college, Josh learns about the pitfalls of mature love as he falls for the beauties in the snug abode. Josh likes beer, analysis-free relationships and hot older women. In a word, he’s believable. In addition to a healthy dose of testosterone, the novel is balanced by powerful descriptions of Vicki’s bond with her two boys. Emotions run high as she prepares for death.

Nothing original, but in Hilderbrand’s hands it’s easy to get lost in the story.

Pub Date: July 2, 2007

ISBN: 978-0-316-01858-6

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2007

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