By Laura Lipton
You can also visit her blog.
I must admit, I partially wanted to read this one because the main characters got married in Vegas. No, really. I think I have a Vegas obsession. Luckily, I've never woken up there (fully clothed), next to a man, while I needed to catch my flight, like Peggy Adams.
Peggy runs a bath accessories business with her best friend, but it's no longer posting profits and a bigger store is moving in just across the street. Luke Sedgwick, her new husband, doesn't have much of a head for business and his family's finances were already in disrepair. Almost all the family has left is the Sedgwick house, in equal disrepair. But his Aunt Abigail refuses to sell. That is, until she realizes Luke intends to divorce.
She makes a deal: if they stay married for a year, she'll give Luke the house with no stipulations. The money from the sale could save Peggy's business and give Luke enough money to get on his feet. So, the two agree to pretend to be a happily married couple for the year. But as New Ninevah and Luke grow on Peggy, she begins to realize her fiance Brock's shortcomings. Luke begins to draw away from his on-again off-again girlfriend as he becomes closer to Peggy.
And this is when I knew Laura Lipton had sucked me in, as she kept me reading despite a plot that relies on Big Misunderstandings. I hate when the character's problems could be cleared up if they bothered to talk to each other for a minute or two. How hard is it to say, "I'm no longer engaged." The two act more like high schoolers with a crush than adults. But I still enjoyed the story.
Peggy's a little neurotic, but she clearly cares for her friends and business. She bonds and sticks with Tiffany, a fellow WASP-wife who isn't a WASP, though it could blow her cover. She quickly becomes passionate about New Ninevah. It's easy to like her, since she has a good heart, even if she does need more of a romantic spine. Everyone has flaws.
Luke wants to be a poet, but knows there's not enough money to support that inclination, so he tries to be an investor. He dislikes his WASP heritage, but he isn't giving up the trappings lightly as people suspect. And he's not just doing it so he can live comfortably - he wants to be able to afford a home for Abigail, where she can get the care she needs instead of the little he can offer. He's a little cold and childish, but I liked him.
Yes, I did want the characters to talk to each other more, but I enjoyed the novel. At least Peggy and Luke talked to the supporting characters, who were smart enough to take matters into their own hands when it was needed. Lipton's conceit was fun and she managed to present convincing reasons of why Peggy and Luke would put themselves through the trouble. Not the best read, but a good choice if you like your romance with a literary style.
Lipton is also the author of IT'S ABOUT YOUR HUSBAND, which was recently featured on Alexa Young's Worst Review Ever.
This was part of an Early Birds Blog Tour. You can read the other posts at the following sites: