~ About the Book ~
As an artist, Callie Quinn relies on inspiration to guide her wandering soul. This summer she accepts a short-term muralist job in her sister’s charming town to spend some much-needed time with her family. After meeting her nephew’s friend, Brandon, she’s eager to draw out his untapped artistic talents—however, it’s the boy’s straitlaced single father who could use a little color in his life.
Davis Carter may be the town’s favorite animal whisperer, but his experience is limited when it comes to understanding his preteen’s rebellious behavior. Desperate for a breakthrough, he follows the lead of a free spirit who claims to know the way into his son’s closed-off world. Soon, Davis isn’t the only one caught up in the hope of a new beginning.
Just as Callie considers trading her unattached existence for a life rich with promise and permanence, an unexpected visit from the past threatens to send her packing once again. Davis and Callie must learn to surrender their fears so they can find a love that will outlast the summer.
Series: #3 Love in Lenox (Can be read as standalone)
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release date: 12 September 2017
Publisher: Waterfall Press
~ Excerpt ~
Leaving behind my purse, luggage, and any traces of common sense, I stepped out of my car and shut the door, pondering my options. My gaze traveled across the two-story remodeled farmhouse until I spotted the open bathroom window on the main floor. Yep. That will do just fine. Front doors were for conventional relatives only.
Channeling the covert ways of Nancy Drew, I scurried across the recently irrigated ground, my sandals slipping over the damp grass. I rounded several perfectly pruned rosebushes and well-groomed garden beds on my trek to the window. Chris had definitely upped his landscaping game since last summer. I gripped the chest-high windowsill and attempted to pull myself up. My first try failed miserably. This had the potential to be one of my better surprise entrances to date, but it would require a bit more physical exertion than I’d expected. Activating muscles I hadn’t used in some time, I heaved myself up again, using the shiplap siding as a ladder. My biceps—or lack thereof—shook from the effort.
I grimaced at the sound of an approaching car. Please don’t stop. Please don’t stop. Please don’t . . .
The passing sedan slowed to a rough idle, and a balding middle-aged man leaned out his window. The afternoon sun glinted off his waxy head as he gawked at my sad acrobatics.
“Uh . . . should you be climbing that, miss?”
Refusing to lose the hard-earned ground I’d gained, I released my hand only long enough to offer him my most convincing thumbs-up/wave combination, as if to say, All is normal here. Feel free to move on. Pay no attention to the redheaded hippie breaking and entering in broad daylight.
His suspicious gaze held a few seconds more, and I could practically hear his internal debate: Should I ask for identification? Should I alert the police? Should I warn Chris and Clementine that there’s a freckled lunatic about to crawl inside their house? Thankfully, his ogling came to an end when a jogger in a leopard-print spandex onesie sprinted past. Without further comment, he drove on.
I inchwormed my way into the bathroom headfirst. Planting my palm on the back of the toilet, I propelled the rest of my body to the tile floor in a graceless heap.
Perhaps my antics weren’t the usual Friday entertainment for the quiet community of Lenox, but even still, I had a reputation to uphold. Fun aunties were anything but predictable.
~ Review ~
Ahh, bliss! Nicole Deese has delivered a story that’s both entertaining and heartwarming, and coupled it with a romance that is the perfect blend of sweet and swoony. What more could you ask for?
From the moment Callie Quinn appeared on the page, her ‘freckles happily populating under the sun’s intoxicating rays’, I knew I would like her. But when she asserted that ‘front doors were for conventional relatives only’ I was completely sold! (Just secretly, I think she might be my favourite of Nicole Deese’s characters to date. But, shhhh!) Callie is the ‘fun auntie’: vivacious and colourful (literally as well as figuratively!), and she loves the freedom of her life as an itinerate artist. But coming to stay with her sister’s family and then meeting the more staid and considerably less artistic Davis Carter challenges the way she views herself, and ultimately, how she defines freedom.
Davis Carter was the perfect counterbalance for Callie, and my heart couldn’t help going out to him as a single father. He works full time, he’s struggling to work out how to parent a teenage son who’s become emotionally distant and difficult to handle, and he’s trying to head off interference from the parents of his late wife. He’s not perfect, but he is genuine, both in wanting to do what’s best for Brandon, and in the way he handles the emotionally charged situation between his son and his in-laws. And really, he’s as good for Callie as she is for him!
This a perfectly balanced contemporary romance, with heart, soul, and a whole lot of colour!
I received a copy of this novel from the author. This has not influenced the content of my review, which is my honest and unbiased opinion.
~ Other Books in the Series ~
Read my review for A Season to Love.
~ About the Author ~
Nicole Deese is a full-time lover of humorous, heartfelt, and hope-filled fiction. She is the author of seven inspirational romances including the Love in Lenox novels, A Cliché Christmas and A Season to Love, and The Promise of Rayne. When she’s not writing, she can usually be found reading near a window while sipping a LaCroix. She lives in small-town Idaho with her handsome hubby and two sons.