Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Honey, Baby, Sweetheart

Honey, Baby, Sweetheart by Deb Caletti

There is a lot to be liked in this book.  The characters are interesting and amusing and likable.  Ruby, her family and the Casserole Queens have a lot to share with a reader.  The story is well written, if a little uneven at times and has a wonderful lesson for women at every point in their romantic lives.

We've got Ruby McQueen who finds her first love in bad boy Tyler and after thrilling adventures and stolen romantic moments, she has to live with some terrible decisions she makes.  

Then, there's her mother.  Ann is the town librarian, runs a book club with some of the colorful senior citizens in tiny Nine Mile Falls, the Casserole Queens.  She also still carries a torch for Chip, her ex-husband, the father of her children, the love of her life, and the flake who left to find fame and fortune. Of course, that amounted to a gig as a singer at an amusement park in Oregon.  Chip occasionally comes back to town, raising Ann's hopes and then dashing them as he leaves a wake of destruction, debt and heart break each time he goes.

And, there's Lily, one of the Casserole Queens, who's lost her husband, had a pretty serious stroke and has been outed as the romantic heroine in the book the club is currently reading.  Reuniting her with her lost love turns into an adventure with three generations of lovesick ladies.

My big peeve with this book had to be the telegraphing of 'danger ahead' over and over and from so far in advance of the actual tragedy.  I think Caletti could have left that out. Not only was it really annoying, it made the actual happening of the event seriously anticlimactic.  I think if you took out all of the heavy handed "hints", the story would have played out beautifully. This wasn't something a reader wouldn't see coming from early on and the author wraps up the story line in a really lovely and healthy way.  All the prompts for what's coming, only detracted.  So, for anyone reading the book and being annoyed by them like I was, I suggest skimming over the offending sentences. Or just, don't believe the hype. 

I enjoyed this book and it was a sweet read.  Considering how powerful Ruby's attraction is for Tyler and her difficulties concerning it, she really didn't have much interaction with him.  It seemed like a lot of her drama was an overreaction.  I did think it was pretty realistic that Ruby was aware of and frustrated by her mother making the same mistakes over and over with her dad, but didn't see when she was developing the same kind of relationship with Tyler.  The dialog is well done, the characters rich and enjoyable.  I think the book is absolutely worth your time.

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