Friday, September 20, 2019

Review - - The Fixer Upper

The Fixer Upper
by Maggie Mae Gallagher
Echo Springs - Book 1
Publisher: Blushing Books
Release Date: September 6, 2019
Reviewed by PJ

Abby Callier is more in love with Shakespearean heroes than any real man, and she’s beginning to wonder if there is life for her outside the pages of a book. It doesn’t help that her esteemed parents tend to view her as they would one of their science experiments gone wrong. On the eve of finishing her dissertation, she escapes her staid existence to live in the house she inherited from her Great Aunt Evie in the small town of Echo Springs, Colorado. Because, let’s face it, when a woman starts comparing her life to horror films, it might be time for a break. 

Sheriff Nate Barnes believes in law and order and carefully building the life you want. In his spare time, he has been remodeling his house in the hope that one day it will be filled with the family he makes. But Nate doesn’t like drama or complications and tends to avoid them at all costs. And yet, when Miss Abigail Callier, his newest neighbor, beans him with a nine iron, he can’t help but wonder if she might just be the complication he’s been searching for all along. It doesn’t hurt that he’s discovered a journal hidden away by the previous tenant, and decides to use Old Man Turner’s advice to romance Abby into his life. 

Abby never expected her next-door neighbor, the newly dubbed Sheriff Stud Muffin, to be just the distraction her world needed. The problem is she doesn’t know whether she should make Echo Springs her home, or if this town is just a stopover point in her life’s trajectory. And she doesn’t want to tell Nate that she might not be sticking around – even though she should, because it’s the right thing to do, the honest thing – because then all the scintillatingly hot kisses with the Sheriff will come to an abrupt halt. Did she mention that he’s a really great kisser?

My thoughts:

There are some books I love, some I like, and some that are just okay. Then there are those few that I stumble upon and, within the first chapter, get that feeling that the author has written this story just for me. Everything syncs. This was my first book by this author but I had an immediate connection with the characters, the humor took me straight back to my childhood and the things we'd laugh ourselves silly over within my family, and I felt like I had a personal stake in the outcome of the couple's relationship. Gallagher had me laughing one minute, wiping away tears the next, and vigorously fanning myself the one after that. She's hilarious and writes with so much heart as well as some delicious heat. I adored both Abby and Nate and fell head over heels in love with Rufus, Nate's goofy dog. Gallagher really has the Great Dane personality nailed. So much so, that he darn near steals every scene he's in. Then there's the throwback love story featuring Abby's unmarried aunt, told through journal entries (his, not hers), that provides a guiding light for Abby and Nate's deepening relationship. That relationship, between two characters who had already passed on, engaged my emotions just as deeply as the one between Nate and Abby that was playing out on the pages. And yes, there were tears. 

Then there are the intriguing secondary characters, both male and female. Gallagher gives them enough page time - and drops just enough delicious clues about each of them - to have me already eagerly anticipating their stories. I'll be returning to Echo Springs for as many books as she decides to write. 

This one has my 5-star, feel-good, enthusiastic recommendation. 


What's the last book you read that felt like the author had written it just for you?

Have you read The Fixer Upper yet?

Do you have a goofy dog in your life? Tell me about them.

Today's my birthday and you know what that means. Gifts for you! :) 

One person who comments before 11:00 PM (EST) tonight will receive a $20 Amazon (U.S.) e-gift card. 

One person who comments before 11:00 PM (EST) tonight will receive a package of books from my conference stash. (U.S. only) 


  1. Happy birthday!! I hope it's as fabulous as you are, PJ! This is a new author for me so I'm off to check this out. My Lucy Liu is a goof who loves her farm life a bit TOO much at times and smells of it! :)

  2. Happy Birthday 🎂🎉🎈 haven't read It yet. No goofy dogs, but many goofy cats. Have one that has a stuffed possum that he tosses in the air.

  3. No, I have not read The Fixer Upper yet but I want to.
    Hard question about the last book I read that I thought was wrote for me, maybe Kristen Higgins Life and other Incoveniences..loved that book.
    No dog in my life, but I have a rotten cat :)
    And Happy Birthday

  4. Happy Birthday! Enjoy and celebrate! I haven't read The Fixer Upper but have read about this captivating story. I know that i would enjoy this book greatly. My dog, Bogie is a lovable and sweet companion. A book that resonated with me was The Great Unexpected.

  5. HAPPY BIRTHDAY PJ!!!!! Enjoymyour day and hopefully some football tomorrow!!

    Sadly, The Fixer Upper is still only on my wishlist. As for dogs, I've had 2 golden retrievers over the last 27 years. Our current pup is a huge mommy's boy.

  6. Happy Birthday! The Fixer Upper sounds wonderful. I have an adorable small dog, a Maltese, named Guido who is a real delight.

  7. Happy birthday, PJ! I hope that today brings you lots of things that make you smile.

    I haven't read this book yet, but it sounds like one I would like. Thanks for the review.

    I have 2 granddogs who are "cousins" because their daddies are my 2 sons. The dogs crack me up when they are at my house because they take turns stealing each other's treats! :D

  8. Happy Birthday PJ! I'm a September Birthday too! And today is also my great-nephew Sam's Birthday - September is a good month for my family. I think I'd enjoy this book since I love watching those home redesign shows, so throw in a romance and it's a fun time.

  9. I have not read this book, nor this author. I will have to check it out. Happy Birthday PJ! I don't have any pets due to allergies :-(

  10. Happy birthday! No I dont have any dogs right now. Had two but they crossed the rainbow bridge and I don't have the heart to get another.

  11. Happy Birthday, PJ! I don't think I have ever read a book that felt like it was written just for me, though I love the idea of feeling such a connection with a story. Have, sadly, not had a dog, goofy or otherwise. We did have a lovely, gentle, yet playful cat. Haven't read this author but have been hearing about this title. Your review certainly explains much charm to the tale and I look forward to reading The Fixer Upper.

  12. Happy Birthday, PJ!!!

    I have not read this book yet, but it's now on my TBR pile. :) Sounds wonderful!

    I used to have a goofy dog in my life. He was a mutt-mix Lab, and his name was Braveheart because he barked at everything and was a bit of a chickenshit. *LOL* Actually I wanted to name him William (for William Wallace) because I was mad for Braveheart the movie, duh, but mom wouldn't let me...said I couldn't name a dog with my brother's name. *LOL* She suggested Braveheart. He was always curious and goofy--and seemed to be gloriously optimistic that something would turn out differently than it did last time--which got him sprayed by a skunk on more than one occasion. But he was a very good, loyal guy....

  13. I've had two dogs and aren't they all goofy lol. Now I have cats, they're more crazy than goofy lol. I think every book has something for me. Happy Birthday!

  14. Happy Birthday PJ! I hope you had a lovely day! You should have told me it was your birthday so I could have taken you to lunch!!💜

    I haven't read this book yet but it is on my TBR mountain!!

    The last book I read that I felt as if the author wrote it for me was As The Light Fades by Catherine West. She broke my heart with that book and then stomped on it, put it back together and made me smile! I love when an author does that!💜

  15. I dont have a dog, but I have goofy guinea pigs. I have the book fixer upper on hold at the library. The Last book that was written just for me was Bookshop on the corner by Jenny Colgan. Happy birthday!

  16. Happy Birthday. I won this book on another blog I follow and am so looking forward to reading it. It sounds so good.

  17. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU!!!! In the background, if you listen closely you will hear me singing to you....and I promise you want it in the background.

    The first two books that was written exactly for me - Julie Garwood's The Bride and The Wedding. More recently I read The Little Wedding Island by Jaime Admans. All 3 of those books make me laugh out loud. That generally makes me want to love a book. A couple by Mary Balogh, also did it for me. There have been others, but those are few which stick in my mind.

    Right now, I am living with a rescued Pekingese. He has issues. He and I have been roomies for over 2 years and he just recently decided he could wag his tail at me. He also will now allow me to pet him. But, he is getting near to being a real d-o-g. On the other hand, most of my life I have lived with Boxers and they are simply goofy by nature. Their goal in life is to play. Their personalities alone make the Peke a real challenge for me. So, maybe this time around, I am the one who is goofy.

    I have not read the Fixer Upper and I do look forward to doing so.

    I hope your birthday is filled with joy and love and Cake.

  18. Happy Birthday! I haven't read the Fixer Upper, but it's on my wish list. I do have a puppy, her name is Miss Daisy, she's nine months old. She is a high energy "blue" pit bull. She loves her "daddy"! Thanks for the giveaway.

  19. Happy Birthday!

    I haven't read this book.


  20. Happy Birthday! No cute pictures of pets. My husband has allergies. My 5 star is A Highlander Walks into a Bar by Laura Trentham.

  21. I am too late to enter, but I do want to wish you a Happy Birthday. I have not yet read THE FIXER UPPER yet but it is on my wish list. We bought an 1898 Victorian farm house and have been in the renovation, repair, fix it again loop for 27 years. We have been lucky enough to have had 12 rescue dogs over the years. That isn't counting the litters we fostered for the animal shelter. One of the two we have now is the goofiest one we have had. She was badly beaten and rescued by a friend of our son. Sadly she doesn't know how to play. We will go out with her, throw the ball, and she just sits there looking at us like "Why did you do that?" She will come over while I am sitting on the sofa, sit in front stare at me, and bark. I don't speak dog, so I rarely figure out what she wants. She is allowed in my husband's recliner and I really cannot figure out how she can possibly be comfortable in some of the positions I find her in. She is 65 pounds and curls up in a tiny dog bed we had for our little terrier. She is sweet, annoying, nutty, and I am glad she found a place with us.

  22. Happy Birthday PJ!! I read a little about this book somewhere else and have added it to my tbr list. I do have a silly pup who loves to play hide and seek with my younger son.

  23. Happy Happy Bday, have a great day.
    I have not read this book.
    I do not have a dog, but my son's dog chewed gift cards that I gave him that were under the Christmas tree