Thursday, January 17, 2013

ARC review: Jar of Dreams by Liz Flaherty

The Particulars: Contemporary Romance, Carina Press, available as e-book
The Source: ARC from Netgalley
The Grade: B
The Blurb:
 For as long as she can remember, Lucy Dolan has been jotting down her hopes on slips of paper and saving them in a pickle jar—her jar of dreams. It was the first thing she saved when the beloved family diner went up in flames, and it's safely buckled in her beat-up minivan when she lands in Taft, Indiana, to start over. She rents a room and goes into business with her landlady, but then Gert's nephew comes charging in to "rescue" his aunt.

Boone Brennan will be damned if he'll let Lucy take advantage of Aunt Gert, who raised him and his sister. Believing that she's just passing through, he's deeply suspicious of her—despite the sparks that fly between them.

Just as Boone and Lucy are starting to open up to each other, a series of fires throws Lucy under suspicion. Boone wants to trust her and his feelings, but with the whole town against her, will he stay by her side? Or will Lucy move on and find another place to make her dreams come true?

The Review:

While The Debutante's second chance isn't my favorite Liz Flaherty novel, I fell in love with the fictive small town Taft, so when I discovered this was another Taft novel, I requested it on the spot.

It was nice to revisit Taft, and see it from the perspective of someone who hadn't grown up there. I really enjoyed how Lucy became friends, and slowly got a part of Taft. I also liked that Taft wasn't perfect, that the downturn of the economy also affected Taft.
I enjoyed how Taft accepted Lucy. But, I also liked the fact that it wasn't perfect. I liked the old pain between Boone and Crockett, the suspicion Boone and Kelsey showed Lucy when she showed up.

I'll admit it, at first I was a bit sceptical if Boone and Lucy's relationship would work out, since Boone was only visiting over the summer. I am happy to say that I was wrong. Following Boone and Lucy's relationship from wariness to their happy ever after was a delight. I liked how Lucy and Boone slowly got to know each other to talk about their past scars. It was touching when Lucy first gathered the courage to tell Boone what had happened to her father.

Boone struggled with death of his wife, and I ached for him. It was touching to follow him through the stages of grief, until he could move on. As he did, he too, was tugged back into the folds of Taft.

The secondary romance between Gert and Sims were sweet and touching, and I loved it. They deserved a bit of happiness.

That said, there were a couple of things I didn't like with the books. Occasionally, I had trouble with connecting to Boone and Lucy. It didn't happen often, though. Also, I wish that how the arsonist thought had been shown through out the story, instead of being blurted out at the end.

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