The B&B Is Open for Business!
Excitement is in the air in Goose Creek, Kentucky, as the small town prepares to celebrate its 150th anniversary and the veterinarian’s upcoming wedding. But trouble is brewing in this provincial paradise…
Al Richardson agreed to open a B&B with his wife after his retirement in two years, but Millie secretly invites some guests to stay for the wedding. She plans to be the most gracious Southern hostess—until a tumble down the stairs leaves her unprepared for their quirky and cantankerous first guest.
Meanwhile, the town’s anniversary plans are in a state of chaos as the celebration committee scrambles to raise the necessary funds—an effort spearheaded by a “newcomer,” which ruffles the townsfolk’s feathers.
Goose Creek has lasted 150 years. Can it survive the next month?
The sound of the doorbell sliced into the moment. Not one simple ding dong, but an unending series of ding dong ding dong ding dongs. Only one person would ring a bell with such annoying persistence.
“Thacker must have forgotten something,” he said. “I’ll see what he wants.”
He left Millie in the kitchen and headed down the hallway, stopping to pick up a stray orange that must have rolled off Lulu’s head. He opened the door, prepared to return the errant fruit to its owner, but halted when he caught sight of the person outside.
A large woman who carried her considerable girth on a sturdy frame that put her at eye level with Al stood on the porch.
She wore a full-length maroon wool coat, though she must have been roasting from heat, and carried a black handbag looped over one arm. It was not merely her size that lent to her commanding presence, but a square jaw beneath tightly clamped lips and a pair of small, sharp eyes that traveled the length of him from top to bottom.
“Are you the butler?” The question sounded more like a demand.
“What?” Al was too confused to be offended. “Of course not. I’m Al Richardson. I live here.”
“Richardson, you say?” She turned her head and shouted over her shoulder, “You may unload my bags.”
For the first time, Al noticed a black limousine parked on the circular driveway near the bottom of the porch stairs. The trunk lid opened at a click from the driver’s remote, and he began lifting out suitcases and setting them on the walkway.
“Hold up there, ” Al shouted, and then turned his attention back to the woman. “There’s been some sort of mistake. Who are you?”
She tilted her head back, spearing him with an arrogant gaze down to the not inconsiderable length of her nose. “I am Lorna Hinkle, and I am expected.”
Al realized his mouth gaped open
, and snapped it shut. Then he turned and shouted toward the kitchen for help.
I really admire writers who can take everyday life in a small town and turn it into an engaging and entertaining read. And that is exactly what this series is. I have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know the residents of Goose Creek as they deal with life, get up each others’ noses (in a polite, Southern kind of way), and learn a little bit of grace along the way.
This is the third novel in the Go
ose Creek B&B series, and although you could read them as stand-alone novels, I think the most enjoyment is gained from reading them as a series. The story lines are self-contained within each novel, but you will have a richer understanding of the characters and their relationships with each other if you have read the previous novels.
Al and Millie are the nearly-retired, ‘salt-of-the-earth’ couple at the centre of the series, now working to restore their newly acquired Victorian home so they can open as a B&B when Al retires – in exactly two years and eight days. I love the way Virginia portrays this couple, capturing the nuances in their relationship after thirty-eight years of marriage – like Al’s immediate suspicion when Millie serves up all his favourite dishes for dinner, eschewing her normal wifely concern for his health. What is his sweet wife up to now?
But not even Millie could have envisaged Justin’s Aunt Lorna turning up three weeks early for the wedding, bringing her high opinions and meddlesome ways with her; nor working with the grating an
d tactless Lulu Thacker on the funding application for the Main Street Program. And yet, while there is plenty of the eccentric and the ridiculous to tickle your funny bone, there is also the reminder that even those who annoy us have their redeeming qualities.
I have to confess I was a little disappointed not to have seen much of Tuesday Love in this one. I was kind of hoping that we were building up to something in the previous book in the series (something for the Christmas novella, perhaps?) There were also a few times towards the end that I felt as though we had somehow skipped a scene, being told after the fact how something panned out rather than being shown. That’s the reason for my 4.5 star rating rather than 5 stars. But don’t let that put you off!
This is a fantastic series if you’re after something light, humorous, well-written, and engaging.
I received a complimentary copy of this novel from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.
Release date: 1 September 2016
Publisher: Harvest House Publishers
Author’s website: http://www.virginiasmith.org/index.html
Read my review for Renovating the Richardsons.