Monday, October 24, 2016

Review: Just Fine with Caroline by Annie England Noblin

When the weather starts cooling off, I find that I look forward to curling up with lighter books. Maybe it counteracts the visual evidence that another year is heading to a close. It slows the dying of the season somehow. Perfect for this mood, are books set in small towns with quirky characters. Annie England Noblin's newest book, Just Fine with Caroline, is the first in the Cold River novel series and it has just the right heartwarming small town romantic feel that counters the sadness of the falling leaves so very well.

Caroline gave up getting a college degree and a teaching certificate to go back home to Cold River, a small town tucked in the Missouri Ozarks, when her mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer's. She has been mostly happy living in the town she grew up in, running her family's bait shack business, hanging out with her best friend Court, and helping her father, the local doctor, look after her mom. As the title suggests, she's doing just fine. When Noah Cranwell, the youngest member of the rather notorious local Cranwell family, comes back to town to start up a business across from Caroline's bait shack, Caroline is intrigued by the very sexy man. Noah's mother took him away to New Jersey when he was just five so he's a bit of an enigma in this small town where everyone knows everyone else's life story. But as Caroline and Noah learn, there are still secrets here, hurtful secrets that challenge how Caroline's coping with everything.

The major plot line is that of Caroline and Noah's growing relationship but there are several other secondary threads that deal with Caroline's kooky cousin Ava Dawn, who is trying to finally escape from her abusive marriage, with Caroline's best friend Court and the source of his sadness, with the sorrow of Alzheimer's and what it does to a family, and with loss of many different sorts. Despite these heavy topics, the characters populating the pages are quirky and rather endearing. None of the secrets they are hiding (nor the one that Caroline eventually uncovers) is terribly surprising but they could just be the seeds for future books in the series where they'll receive more in-depth treatment. The immediate attraction between Caroline and Noah was believable but they were all over each other much sooner than the character development would have suggested. As a whole though, this was an easy, light read and I reckon it was sweet story (a reference lost on you if you haven't read the book).

For more information about Annie England Noblin and the book, like her on Facebook or follow her on Twitter. Also, check out the book's Good Reads page, follow the rest of the blog tour, or look at the amazon reviews for others' thoughts and opinions on the book.

Thanks to Trish from TLC Book Tours and the HarperCollins for sending me a copy of this book to review.

1 comment:

I have had to disable the anonymous comment option to cut down on the spam and I apologize to those of you for whom this makes commenting a chore. I hope you'll still opt to leave me your thoughts. I love to hear what you think, especially so I know I'm not just whistling into the wind here at my computer.

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