Friday, June 14, 2013

One Day in Apple Grove (Small Town USA #2) by C.H. Admirand

One Day in Apple Grove by C.H. Admirand continues the story that began in A Wedding in Apple Grove.   Three years have passed since Meg and Dan married.  This book focuses on Caitlin Mulcahy.
Never mind that typically, construction businesses are owned and run by men.  In Apple Grove, the Mulcahy daughters take care of the business owned by their father. Caitlin, the middle daughter, is more and more responsible for the local projects, since her sister Meg is pregnant and taking care of her twins.  Caitlin is thrilled to be driving her father’s car (usually off limits) and on a trip into town, she has an accident.  
As she drives a borrowed car home, she notices the new doctor’s Jeep parked by the side of the road.  The doctor is not unfamiliar to her, but she did not know him well as she grew up.  He was her sister’s age, and he was not quite in Caitlin’s social circle.  Jack Gannon, an Iraq War veteran, has taken over his retired father’s practice.  When Caitlin gets out to see if Jack is all right, she sees Jack and a sweet, lost dog.  Jack takes the dog home, and Caitlin agrees to help him take care of it.  This starts the couple on the road to romance.
This is my second trip to Apple Grove after reading the first book in the series, A Wedding in Apple Grove.  The quirky supplementary characters were still there.  Honey B, who runs the hair salon, is pregnant with her first child with Mitch, the sheriff.  Sisters Peggy and Katie McCormack are still serving the best pies in town.  And the romance between Caitlin’s dad Joseph, and the local widow, Mary Murphy, continues to heat up.
There is no other word to describe this book so much as the word cozy.  Apple Grove is the town where everyone knows everyone else and cares about everyone too.  There are no major divisions in the town.  It seems as though there are no conflicts between characters either.  The major obstacle to Caitlin and Jack’s romance is his PTSD, related to his guilt about an experience in Iraq.  After a few conversations with some wiser people, even this obstacle is overcome.
The dog, Jaime, provides some comic relief and the glue that initially hold's Caitlin and Jack’s relationship together.  There is a twist at the end of the book, when Jamie’s owner comes to claim him, but I found this development rushed and unnecessary.
One of my biggest pet peeves with this book?  It is going to seem trivial, but C.H. Admirand loves the letter J.  It drives me nuts when authors name their characters similar names, and this author relies on the following names for characters:  Joe, Jack, Jaime, Jerry, and John.  Towards the end of the book, nearly all of these characters intersect and sentence after sentence was filled with names that started with J.  Keeping all of them straight was a challenge.
If you are looking for a small town setting where nearly everyone is good at heart and you can be assured of a happy ending, Apple Grove is your kind of town.  Enjoyable cozy romance.
*I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.  Regina

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The old grey donkey, Eeyore stood by himself in a thistly corner of the Forest, his front feet well apart, his head on one side, and thought about things. Sometimes he thought sadly to himself, "Why?" and sometimes he thought, "Wherefore?" and sometimes he thought, "Inasmuch as which?" and sometimes he didn't quite know what he was thinking about.

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