This week and next, in observance of Summer Book Trek, Read Fast Eat Slow features books by indie Mormon authors. You can head on over to SBT’s website to check out what’s new in that niche.
Fantasy and romance (but I repeat myself) are the favorite genres of these authors, both of which I handle like the mushy vegetables that need to come out of the fridge drawer. In fact, I attempted one book last week (which I will not name) and knew within two pages than I would rather scrub the bathtub decals than read that thing.
Moving on to my next choice, I met Paige of Paige’s Turn, by Jennifer Peel, who turned out to be a heroine I could root for.
Paige’s Turn borrows from the ugly duckling fairy tale, except that Paige makes for a klutzy swan. She escapes her hometown of Bella Port, Florida, after high school, but returns ten years later to claim the the mansion and the millions left to her in her Aunt Mitzi’s will. Oh, and Mitzi’s bookstore.
Paige’s mom and sister suspect her of having played be-nice-to-the-rich-relative, since Aunt Mitzi left nothing, not even a teapot, for them. And they manage to convince the entire town of Paige’s underhanded scheming.
Guess what else Aunt Mitzi left behind? A few well-placed notes like text messages from beyond. A frequent theme in those notes is Sam. He’s the man for you, Mitzi tells her. Keep your eye on Sam.
It’s not hard. Ladies all over Bella Port make fools of themselves fluttering around Sam. He’s a construction worker (I know you’re surprised) and when that shirt comes off (surprise again!) those perfect pecs cause symptoms that could be mistaken for vertigo complicated by a little anemia.
Ah, but barriers rise up between Paige and Sam.
There are wounds. Sam’s first marriage failed, leaving him with a touching touch of reluctance and sorrow.
And he’s taken. He’s dating Brianne, the Barbie doll of Paige’s graduating class, a woman who salutes Paige’s progress with remarks like, “Look at you. I mean, who ever thought you would grow up to look so pretty?”
When things get tough and Paige contemplates running away from Bella Port one more time, she finds more notes from Aunt Mitzi. Or Mitzi’s still-living deputies deliver a good pep talk. There’s Mabel Lu, who serves up muffins and coffee at the local diner, and there’s Jana, Paige’s faithful bookstore employee who can verify that Paige has indeed inherited plenty of Aunt Mitzi’s sass.
All in all, Paige’s Turn serves up a beachy version of Gilmore Girls, with a winning heroine and kisses that can rattle the Richter scale.
And by the way, I don’t believe such kisses are possible. While I’ve had some good ones in my time, there was nothing I could ever classify as seismic.
But if you can vouch for that kind of kiss, please share in the comments.
Photo credit: StreetPeople via VisualHunt / CC BY-NC-ND