Sunday, December 1, 2013

Welcome Back to Apple Grove (Small Town USA #3) by C.H. Admirand

There's No Place Like Home...

Grace Mulcahy thought she'd finally gotten Apple Grove, Ohio, out of her system. Then she's lured back for a family barbecue and spies a broad-shouldered hottie hanging out at the grill. He somehow seems utterly at east, whether flipping burgers or horsing around with her hellion nephews. Why didn't her brother-in-law tell her he had such gorgeous friends? Suddenly her mouth is watering for more than her best friend's famous pie.

Some fires aren't meant to be fought

When firefighter Pat Garaham sees Grace, it's like a five-alarm bell goes off and he's the one ablaze. She says she wants to leave Apple Grove, but he will do whatever it takes to keep her around. The life of a firefighter isn't an easy one though, and he'll have to prove their immediate spark can have a lasting chance at love.

"Welcome Back to Apple Grove” by C.H. Admirand was a light romance with strong messages on the importance of family, tradition and community service.  The landscape of Apple Grove is full of small- town quaintness – from the network of sisters and girlfriends who can spread the word and organize a fundraiser with only a few buzzes along their impressive phone tree -- to the perpetual weekend barbeques and soccer tournaments.  Grace Mulcahy is the baby of the family who is back to visit from her busy life in the “big city”.  Patrick Garahan is the affable and burly small town firefighter who is suddenly sexy as all get-out.  The love story that develops is typical if a little tepid – no ex-anythings come out of the woodwork to throw a wrench in the works.  No black-mail attempts to draw out the swashbuckling hero in Grace’s new beau (he’s already a firefighter, for heaven’s sakes!).  The only thing to get over is Patrick’s concern over Grace’s fortitude as a potential firefighter’s wife.    

I truly appreciated the various issues in the book that bring attention to community and national issues of concern for our day:  the book opens with Grace in the process of cutting her long hair to donate to make wigs for cancer survivor --  a cause which is then taken up by her home town.  There is also a nod to the problem of violence against women, which is handled both on a girlfriend-to-girlfriend level and legally.   Also notable is Admirand’s attempt to take a swipe at America’s narrow standards of beauty through the character of Grace, who has gained her “freshman 15” pounds since she has moved to work in the city.  While this in no way makes this a book about a full-figured heroine (we never get the message that she is actually plus-sized), readers get the idea that Grace is not built like a stick, which opens the door (if only a crack) to the possibility of romance for even the zaftig among us.  “Welcome Back to Apple Grove” was a nice read with positive messages that are much needed today.

*I received  a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.  Malaika

1 comment:

  1. I love books with a message and having that message just woven in the story makes them all the better. Thank you for sharing. Freshman 15 or not, it is always nice to read about a character that we can relate to better rather than the typical brunette with a "mass of curls" that is supposed to be the bane of her existence but we all know better and of course her curvy yet slender figure and "startling green eyes." Those features are great too...just over done. Thanks again for sharing!


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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