Reviewed by May
Quiet and conservative D.J. has just been hired to be the librarian in a tiny town called Verdant, Kansas. Little does she know that the woman who found and hired her, really just wants to set her up with her only son. Scott Sanderson took up his family’s business and is the pharmacist (and owner) of the town’s drug store. Divorced and not looking to try the whole commitment thing again, he isn’t interested in the town’s new librarian. No matter how familiar she seems.
D.J. is horrified to meet Scott, because it turns out that he is none other than the man she had a one night stand with one wild spring break years ago. The only time she ever let go so completely – and there he is. Not only is he an upstanding member of the community, but he doesn’t recognize her at all. Not too surprising since she had heavy make-up and a very different wardrobe that night – but it still freaks her out having to see and deal with him in her new home.
I had so much hope for this book. I thought that the set-up was really cute, the characters seem super nice, and I was very much in the mood for some light, fun, and sexy contemporary romance. Problem is, this book delivered in none of these ways. I think the big problem is that it is very much a women’s fiction book, but the plot would have worked far better as a more traditional romance. If the overly dramatic actions of Scott’s mother had been removed, the characters had been given better personalities, and most especially if the story had been given a more satisfying arc and conclusion, I think it could have been something really great.
Instead we spend a lot of time dealing with his mom’s depression over the death of her husband and we hear way too much about the details of that one night years ago on spring break. The constant flashbacks had me rolling my eyes and fighting to not skim over them. We never get into the here and now on why these two people are so perfect for each other or how they fall in love.
Small-town librarians were expected to be law-abiding, as well as sedate, slightly stuffy, and incredibly sexless. D.J. was pretty certain she fit that bill perfectly.
Yes, trot out the stereotypes because this is a “small-town” story. Such a pet peeve! Oh, but there is more. In addition to being a typical women’s fiction heroine (focused on career, not totally true to herself, just needing that one special man to fix/complete her), I found D.J. to be exceptionally unlikeable. She’s over the top nasty to Scott, yet she won’t explain to him why. She won’t come clean that they already know each other, and she is massively prejudiced against him based on her own whacked out logic, and I couldn’t see why Scott would be drawn to her at all.
Meanwhile Scott spends his time thinking about that perfect dream girl from so many years ago, and wondering where she is.
“I met her on spring break.”
Amos raised an eyebrow. “I never thought you were the ‘spring break’ kind of guy.”
“I wasn’t. You know I always came home and worked here in the store,” he said. “But that one year I decided to go and see what it was all about.”
“And I met her.”
Yet he sees no resemblance between D.J. and his dream girl. The buildup to when and how he would figure it out, and how they’d find happily ever after was huge. I won’t spoil the ending – but let’s just say had it been a physical book and not on my kindle I would have flung it. Unsatisfying, disappointing, unresolved, and completely lame is how I’d describe it.
The author does have a nice way of storytelling that kept me flipping pages and focused. The problem is that when a story isn’t complete, isn’t told in a satisfying way, well then the job of the author really wasn’t well done.