Tallulah West has gone out of her way to displease her father, even if that has meant selling herself short, very, very short. She thinks she is settled and content with her life, relying on best buddy Nick, aggravating her dad, and being general dogsbody to a designer who has less talent in his little finger than she does in her entire body. So when her boss Marcos lets her go in order to save on his outrageous expenses and she finds the deed to some land in North Carolina that her mother has left to her, she starts to dream about what direction she wants her life to go in and how to pursue that dream. But in order to chase that dream, she might have to let go of some of her antagonism towards her father and obnoxious step-mother, look more closely at her relationship with Nick, and face up to the gifts she's been given instead of letting her anger at her mother's death continue to dictate all her actions.
Messina has drawn a smart and engaging heroine who starts out being so crippled by her pain and anger that she can't see beyond it to carve out a life for herself. Tallulah really grows and gains confidence throughout the novel at just the right pace. The reader roots for her as she gains an understanding of not only herslef but of the people around her, starting to forgive them their faults as she realizes that she isn't blameless either. And one of the things that I liked about this book was that while it conformed to the happily ever after tone of chick lit, it wasn't all wrapped up in a neat little bow. Clearly Tallulah will still have challenges and she will continue to have to work on them but she is happy enough to be capable of facing it all. I knew next to nothing about the design world that I haven't seen on shows on TLC or Bravo or the like so it was fascinating to me get to peer in the window of this foreign world. Messina has done a nice job all the way around with this book and anyone looking for a quick, happy read will find it here.