Monday, March 30, 2020
Review - - Can't Hurry Love
Can't Hurry Love
by Melinda Curtis
Sunshine Valley - Book 1
Release Date: March 31, 2020
Reviewed by PJ
You can't rush romance but you can give it a nudge...
Head-over-heels in love, Lola Williams gave up everything to marry Randy, including a promising career in New York City. Now, after one year of marriage and one year of widowhood, Lola finds herself stranded in Sunshine, Colorado, reeling from the revelation that Randy had secrets she never could have imagined. She swears she's done with love forever but the matchmaking ladies of the Sunshine Valley Widows Club have different plans...
Sheriff Drew Taylor also knows what it feels like to be unlucky in love. So when Lola comes to him for help uncovering Randy's hidden life, Drew finds himself saying yes against his better judgment - especially with the Widows Club eyeing them both. Soon enough, Lola is upending Drew's peaceful, predictable world...and he kind of likes it! But will this big-city girl ever give her heart to a small-town guy again?
Melinda Curtis launches her new series with a story that had me laughing out loud, shedding a tear or two, and excited to return to Sunshine Valley for more of the same. I'm not sure how I'd classify this book. It's part sweet romance, part romantic comedy, and part small-town fiction, with a community of characters whose stories are interwoven into the fabric of the book. If you enjoy Sheila Roberts (as I do), this is written in a similar vein.
I adored Lola. She thought she had found her prince in her husband Randy, a man who came to her rescue on a NYC street then proposed after a whirlwind romance, taking her home to his small Colorado hometown following their wedding, a town that never stopped viewing her as an outsider. She's still mourning him - and feeling very much alone - when she accidentally discovers his secret life. Who could blame her for going off the rails? What follows, as she tries to track down the mystery women in her late husband's life, is hilarious, poignant, and surprising. I enjoyed how the many layers of the real Lola - her insecurity, vulnerability, and kindness - are revealed to the readers, and the other characters, through her actions. I was especially touched by her interactions with her clients and their families. And I absolutely loved her kick-ass, take-no-prisoners attitude at the funeral of one member of a local prominent family. I can't wait to see the fall-out from that in coming books.
Drew is a man with problems of his own. He has too many women in his family to look after already, an ex who wants joint custody of their six-year-old daughter after abandoning them when their daughter was a baby, a Barney Fife-wannabe deputy (who also happens to be his cousin), and has convinced himself he needs a sweet, calm (boring) wife to sway the judge in his custody case. In his mind, and the minds of most of the town, Lola is not what he needs. Yet, he can't seem to stay away from her...though he sure does fight it hard. He's a good guy, and a great father, but his personality has been shaped by childhood events which have led him to think he knows what's best for the women in his life. He's about to get schooled. ;-)
At the center of the community are the members of the Sunshine Valley Widows Club and they're having problems of their own. Some of their antics are hilarious and sometimes their meddling goes sideways but, at their core, they are goodhearted women who share a solid bond of friendship, want the best for Sunshine Valley, and happiness for the couples in their matchmaking sights. They're also behind most of the fundraising activities in town, such as the annual fashion show. A word of advice: don't have anything in your mouth when you get to that scene!
The second book in the Sunshine Valley series, A Very Merry Match, will be released September 29th and features a newly-divorced single dad running for state assemblyman and a sweet, widowed kindergarten teacher with a side gig that, if uncovered, would be scandalous with a capital S. I already have it on pre-order. In the meantime, if you want more Sunshine Valley fun now, check out the prequel novella: The Christmas Wish.