Sunday, September 22, 2013

Review: The Sweetheart Bargain, by Shirley Jump

The Sweetheart Sisters are a trio of sassy grannies ready to dispense advice and meddle in the love lives of Rescue Bay residents.

Animal therapist Olivia Linscott ran away from a bad marriage and a dull life in Boston to the Florida coast after inheriting a house from the mother who gave her up at birth. Except the depilated shack and run down animal shelter isn't exactly what she had in mind. Determined to get answers and a fresh start, she finds a sister she never knew, prying clients, a stray dog, and a sexy, elusive next door neighbor. Luke Winslow's dreams died in a career-ending eye injury a year before. Bitter, he wants nothing to do with the attractive woman who just moved in, nor her rescue retriever who comes by daily. But involvement is just what he gets and they both just might find healing with each other.

From the start, the heart behind this book moved me, even when the dark, witty humor was evident. Olivia was optimistic and likable, and Luke was detached and broody. They made for a heady pair. This book really shined with Luke and his injury, though. It was satisfying watching him heal slowly and having a new life laid out for him. The secondary characters were a delight and the setting perfect. Also notable was how Jump didn't sugar-coat the relationships, the back-story, or the road to recovery for any of the characters. My only two quirks were the internal with the grandmother, Greta, as I felt it could have been toned down. We were in her head a bit too much. And even though Luke had issues, the constant back and forth, walking out, grew a little tiresome. One, twice--okay--not over and over. Alas, highly recommended and I'd buy more from this author.

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