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10 / 30 books. 33% done!

2024 Literary Escapes Challenge

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18 / 51 states. 35% done!

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13 / 50 books. 26% done!

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20 / 50 books. 40% done!

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38 / 50 books. 76% done!

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33 / 52 books. 63% done!

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23 / 40 books. 57% done!

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5 / 25 books. 20% done!

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24 / 26.2 miles. 92% done!

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19 / 100 books. 19% done!

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49 / 104 books. 47% done!

Around the Year in 52 Books Reading Challenge

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39 / 52 books. 75% done!

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44 / 165 books. 27% done!
Saturday, March 31, 2018

Heartfelt Southern Romance Authentically Messy and Satisfying

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

Living with her mother has been a blessing for 21-year-old Shandi Pierce as she tries to finish college and raise her young son on her own.  As reluctant as she is to leave the only home she's ever known, Shandi knows it's time.  She needs to be closer to the GSU campus in Atlanta and her brilliant boy needs the kind of education that can't be had in the small town where they now live.  While she tries to stay out of her parents' bitter post-divorce battles, this time Shandi's father has made her an offer she can't refuse—a condo in the city.  It's far enough away to allow her and her 3-year-old some independence, but also close enough for little Nathan to visit both of his maternal grandparents often.  As much as she will miss her mother, Shandi knows making this move is the right thing to do.

She doesn't get very far away, however, before disaster strike.  A gas station robbery turns ugly, trapping Shandi, Nathan, and several others inside the mini-mart with a very agitated gunman.  It's a strange place for romance, but Shandi can't help but fall hard for the handsome stranger who bravely steps between Nathan and a loaded gun.  The alarming incident may be over, but Shandi's relationship with William Ashe is just beginning.  Although the 33-year-old geneticist is haunted by an aching loss and watched like a hawk by his disapproving bulldog of a best friend, Shandi's determined to make him hers.  She's willing to fight for her unexpected hero, even if it means embracing someone else's love story instead of her own.

I've enjoyed several of Joshilyn Jackson's heartfelt Southern novels and this one, Someone Else's Love Story, is no exception.  It's not my favorite of those I've read, but I still found the story authentic, touching, and realistically messy.  The characters are sympathetic, their challenges compelling.  While none of them get neat, perfect endings, the novel still feels satisfying.  Yes, I could have done with a less sexed-up, more PG-13 version, but all in all, I liked this one.  

(Readalikes:  Reminds me of other Joshilyn Jackson novels, especially The Almost Sisters)

Grade:


If this were a movie, it would be rated:


for strong language, violence, and sexual content

To the FTC, with love:  Another library fine find
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Reading

<i>Reading</i>
Swimming in a Sea of Stars by Julie Wright

Listening

<i>Listening</i>
The Tobacco Wives by Adele Myer



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