Why I Read It: It was in my recommendations at amazon.com
From the Back Cover: Jace Mongomery was a stranger in Chandler. Tall, proud, and ruggedly handsome, he would make any woman’s heart beat faster…
Even shy, sweet Nellie Grayson — Nellie, who thought only of her beautiful younger sister’s happiness. With Nellie’s tireless aid, Terel Grayson easily became the belle of Chandler, Colorado.
Yet Jace, homesick for his closeknit family in Maine, took immediately to Nellie. For the first time, Nellie was the center of attention. It was a heady, delightful feeling…almost as wonderful as the moment when Jace gave her her very first kiss.
Nellie was sure her romantic idyll would end — how long could Jace resist the lovely Terel’s charms? But with the help of an enchanting new friend, Nellie would discover that her flirtatious sister might not be the woman to win the gallant Jace Montgomery….
My Thoughts: This book immediately grabbed me. It was a little different because it started in modern times with the funeral of Berni and then Berni’s journey into The Kitchen (some might call it purgatory). In order to get into heaven, Berni (of modern times) becomes the fairy godmother, so to speak, of Nellie in the 19th century (because in “The Kitchen” there are no time periods ~ it all melds together).
I’m confusing myself just writing it, but it’s not that hard to follow reading it. The flow is much nicer there.
Nellie Grayson is a loveable character. She’s loving, caring, and totally taken advantage of by her bratty younger sister and tyrant of a father. She also has a bit of an eating disorder, whereas when she feels trapped in this unhappy life that she’s in, she gorges on everything. So, she’s a little overweight.
Jace Montgomery is a widower. For 4 years, he’s mourned the death of his wife and infant son. An accidental meeting with Charles Grayson (Nellie’s father), brings him to Chandler, Colorado ~~ although he probably would have ended up there anyway because his cousin, Kane Taggert, also lives there.
Jace and Nellie first meet in the Grayson’s parlor. It was accidental to be sure, because Charles had his heart set on Jace meeting his youngest daughter, Terel. But Jace is taken with Nellie’s sweet nature and almost immediately pursues her in the hopes of making her his wife.
Nellie has issues to get through, though. When she’s surrounded by her family, she’s verbally beaten down by them because if they were to lose her, they’d lose their comfortable lifestyle. Nellie does the cooking, the cleaning, and the overindulging of the spoiled younger sister, Terel. But when she’s with Jace, her inner beauty truly does shine through. She smiles more, she laughs more, and she’s happier than she’s been allowed to be for the past 14 years.
Some scenes were just too cute (meaning I really liked them). If you’ve read this book, I’m sure you remember the pantry. Jace has a wicked sense of humor and I could just see him smiling while putting poor Nellie in that situation. And I could see Nellie just getting flustered by it all. Again, just too cute. Very sweet.
I really enjoyed this story. It had romance, it had antagonists that I loved to hate (Terel and Charles), and it had protagonists that I rooted for from their first meeting. And then there was the Berni factor. I literally could not put this book down, and when I did, I watched the clock until I could get home and start reading it again. It also introduced me to the Montgomery/Taggert clan. With a backlist of 28 books, I’m sure I’ll enjoy getting to know each and every family member intimately.
I’d say this was a Very Good read. I’m so happy it was in my recommendations and I was able to find it so quickly. I look forward to reading more of Ms. Deveraux’s stories.