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Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Design For Life by Cate Masters

Design For Life by Cate Masters
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short (99 pages)
Heat: Sweet
Rating: 4 Books
Reviewed by Tiger Lily

SERIES: The Flower Basket

Becca Lyndon puts her dreams on hold by leaving art school to care for her ailing mom. Working full time at The Flower Basket leaves precious little time, but she squeezes in night classes at the local college. When Mike Hunter fills in as a substitute teacher, she worries about a repeat of the critical reviews he gave her work when he substituted at her high school three years earlier. His reason comes as a complete surprise, but can she trust him? Or will he disappear like her father? When that possibility looms all too real, she’s determined never to let the design for her life unravel again. Following her bliss requires work, but pays off in more ways than she ever imagined. She also learns that one door might close, but another can open—and lead to unexpected opportunities.

Whether you like it or not, everything happens for a reason. It’s up to you whether you follow the overall Design for Life or you fret your way into sadness.

I love a story with an artsy angle. Real people who remind me of my friends fill this story. Cate Masters’ novella brings in characters I felt like I knew all along and a sense of being in the small town with them. When I sat down to read this story, I found myself transported to Almendra and the Flower Basket.

Becca’s an interesting heroine. She knows what she wants in life — to create art. But she’s a good daughter and takes care of her mother. I liked that she had hang-ups. Things weren’t always sunshine and roses for her. She had guts and strength to live her life despite the hectic intrusions. She came across as a bit wishy washy at times and I wanted to see her gain a bit more backbone as the story progressed, but it wasn’t enough to deter the reader.

Mike is a quandary. I wanted to like him immediately because he’s charismatic. But I almost wanted to see more of him, to get a better idea of him. This story is told from her point of view and there were times when I wanted to climb into his head and figure out why he acted as he had. I wanted in on his perspective and felt it would’ve made the story a bit richer if we'd had that extra glimpse.

Still, the story had enough little twists and turns that it stayed interesting. I loved the supporting characters at the Flower Basket. Those ladies had me laughing out loud.

If you want a story that will stick with you long after the last page, then you need to read Design For Life.