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    I’m Not Really Talking About Dishwashers – It’s a Metaphor
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  • Published: Oct 26th, 2011

home sweet homeSix months ago, my dishwasher died an unholy death and bled water all over my kitchen floor. I was devastated.  After a daily 1 ½ hour commute to lower Manhattan, and then working for 10 hours, the last thing I’m thinking is “oh joy, I get to go home, cook dinner and then spend the next 45 minutes washing dishes – let me at it!” I am NOT one of those women who consider a dishwasher a luxury item. So I researched the best type of dishwasher to buy and I waited for the perfect sale, and in between I scrubbed pots and pans begrudgingly.

Finally, my local appliance store was having an out of the box sale that was too good to pass up.  I took the day off and hustled down to the store before anyone else had an opportunity to scoop me.  While perusing the stainless steel miracles I ran into my neighbor who was replacing her 25-year-old stove that had recently cooked its last meal.  Being the polite neighbor, I stopped to say hello, and that was all she wrote.  Twenty five minutes later, I had a complete rundown of the “who and what” of the people who live within a 4 block radius of my house – divorces, marriages, babies, and businesses.  It was fascinating.

Since I had the day off, I thought I should take care of a few more errands that never seem to get done, but before I could put the key in my ignition I was stopped by my local bank manager who was waving a friendly hello and had that “Oh, have I got a story for you” look in her eyes.  Well, what was I to do?  I couldn’t pretend I hadn’t seen her – our eyes had already locked.  So I got out of my car and was regaled for the next thirty five minutes with the most fascinating stories of what’s been happening behind the scenes in our upcoming city council elections.

Once I extracted myself from the conversation I drove to Walter’s Upholstery Shop where I learned I that I could not only get a 10% discount on fabrics from Bunny down the road, but that my neighbor Mabel was also getting new slip covers.

Here’s the point – and it’s not a non-sequitur – I have daydreams every now and again of moving away from the hectic pace of New York City life and moving to a small town in Montana where everyone knows my name and there’s sense of community.  But it hit me – kinda like “I could’ve had a V8” – I already live in a small town and have a sense of community – and I think that’s exactly what attracts me to contemporary romances that revolve around ’small communities where everyone knows your name”.

In Bella Riley’s Home Sweet Home, the small town life of Emerald Lake beckons like a beacon.  This is an idyllic town with a capital I.  Set in upstate NY,  just a mere 2 hour drive from NYC with picturesque surroundings, it’s the kind of place that makes even the most harden NYC club hopping fashionista yearn for the ‘simple life’.  Everything about this town screams “I-am-the-brochure-cover-of-the-most-beautiful-lakeside-community-you’ve-ever-seen.”  But idyllic and beautiful weren’t what Andi Powell had in mind after graduation – her only desire was to move to NYC and grab the brass ring.

After making a splash in the real estate development market, her career was on an upward trajectory until the untimely death of her father.  The grief she suffered and then had to suppress, led to one failed deal after another.   When her last ditch pitch to build a condo community at Emerald Lake catches her boss’ interest, she finds herself in the position of having to sell the idea to the town – a town she hasn’t been a part of for ten years.  Getting the town’s agreement won’t  be easy, particularly when the Mayor is her first and only true love.

The author has created a novel that has a tenderness that captured this romance reader’s heart.  The townspeople are filled with a rich history that invites you in like a warm cup of cocoa on a brisk fall day.  The setting is perfect and the romance is sigh worthy.  This is the first in a series – and as I am a series-kinda-gal, I’m looking forward to the next installment in what to mind is a perfect romance.

Originally posted on the B&N Heart to Heart Blog.

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