What could be more peaceful than a small town nestled in the plush and picturesque Appalachian foothills along the Ohio River? Seemingly nothing unless you actually live in such a place and experience the incestuous nature of the meddling, gossip, and desire that can fester there.
Abby Lane has cornered the market on virtue in her small town, yet there are forces that want to take that innocence away from her. Unfortunately, the depths of deception, often undetected by the pure of heart can be harmful to the unsuspecting soul.
As an English teacher, dreamer and hopeless idealist Abby immerses herself in romantic fiction to fill the void in her reality. There is one author in particular who speaks directly to her heart and she foolishly makes him the model lover by whom all suitors are to be judged. When others try to bridge that gap, idyllic small town America becomes a mysterious place to be.
I was contacted by Jeff Joseph and asked if I would read his book for an honest review. When I read the blurb I thought it sounded ok so I told him I would read and review it. I was glad I did because I ended up really liking the book. I'm going to start with some of the things I didn't like but keep reading because I will move on to what I loved. I really think you will like it if you read it.
So basically you have a 30something lady who is an English teacher who loves to read and lives in a small town. Then there is an author named Daniel that she loves to read his romance novels. My first thoughts on Abby is that she is a little stuck up maybe and obsessed with this author character in the book. Then I start wondering if maybe she isn't a little crazy. Why do I think that? Well, I actually got confused at the beginning of the book. It started out with a pretty hot scene and then Chapter One starts and I was just like "What just happened? Did I get a messed up copy? Did I skip something?" BUT it was just written like that and don't let it mess with your head it is ok and will make since as you read the first few pages of Chapter 1. This was one of the things I didn't like but I got over it. Now in Chapter 2 (about 9% in) there is a lot of details about where Shadyhill is located and if you wanted to look it up on a map then all of these names of places might be needed and of interest but I would have been happy just knowing it was in the Tri-State area and then maybe even that that area is where Ohio, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania all meet. Mostly the first 4 chapters just dragged and I was beginning to think I was going to regret agreeing to read this. BUT then I got to Chapter 5 and that my friends redeemed this book and I was so glad I kept reading because it was really getting good now and I was hooked. From Chapter 5 on it was great. If it could have started at chapter 5 or even combined up to chapter 5 in to one chapter then this would have been a 5 start book.
I still was not really liking Abby a lot and I actually asked myself what was so special about her and if she had some kind of magic vagina or something. It seemed like every man in the town wanted her but she hadn't had sex with any of them so there had to be something attracting them all. Anyway, she grew on me and I finally started liking her more. I loved Daniel and he was a nice refreshing male lead. Not the strong alpha male that acts like a caveman in most romance novels and I loved that. The side characters like Abby's best friend, Julie, was kind of annoying too and she must be blind or just not really care. She does play a very important part in the story and if she wasn't so annoying then there would be a different story. I don't want to give anything away so read it and you will see what I am talking about I think. As for Julie's husband, Rick I didn't like at all just because he was a sorry excuse for a man and again if you read it you will know.
Over all the story was great and I really enjoyed it. Now I received this as a gift from the author but as soon as I finished reading this one I had to have the second book and I went straight to Amazon and bought it. I can't wait to see what happens in the next book. Great job Mr. Joseph and I look forward to reading more of your work.
Where to find Jeff Joseph
Next book in the series