Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Delectable (Big Sky Pie #1), by Adrianne Lee

Forever (Grand Central Publishing), ISBN 9781455574414, September 2013)

Callee McCoy is just making a quick stop in Kalispell, Montana, picking up her remaining belongings, saying good-bye to her beloved mother-in-law, Molly McCoy, and filing the final papers for her divorce from Quint McCoy. Quint's workaholic ways had put a strain on their marriage from the beginning; it broke apart entirely after the death of Quint's father Jim, as Quint refused to share their grief and disappeared for weeks at a time on fishing trips, letting both his marriage and his business fail.

Callee finds Molly in her new shop, Big Sky Pie, due to open in a couple of weeks. The surprise is that Molly has taken over, not just the part of the building Quint wasn't using for his real estate business, but the whole thing.

Quint is surprised, too, when he gets back from his latest fishing trip, finally ready to get back to work and revive his business before it's dead entirely. He's not happy; in fact, he feels betrayed.

When Molly has a heart attack in the midst of the three-way confrontation, between Quint and Molly and Quint and Callee, the two feuding soon-to-be-ex spouses are trapped by their mutual love for Molly, and her distress and agitation at the prospect of her new business not getting launched on time and missing out on the promotional events she'd committed to. Quint and Callee will have to work together to keep Big Sky Pie on track, at least until they can hire a pastry chef.

This is a fun little romance that nevertheless grapples with some serious issues of communication, mutual respect, and pursuing your dreams. Callee and Quint are both essentially likable, and they both have buried dreams they've hidden for years because of the mockery of others. And in the emotionally difficult situation they find themselves in, Lee does not fall into the trap of subjecting them to slapstick and "let's both be idiots" contrived misunderstandings. Their issues are real, and dealt with in as adult a manner as most real human beings manage when their emotions are running wild on them.

It's an enjoyable, mildly thoughtful, satisfying read.

Recommended.

I received a free electronic galley from the publisher via NetGalley.