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Monday, November 14, 2011

Something to Talk About by M. J. Fredrick

Something to Talk About by M. J. Fredrick
Publisher: Lyrical Press
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full Length (152 pgs)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 3.5 books
Reviewed by Poppy

Taking chances is never easy--especially when the whole town is watching.

Ellie Morgan is trying to stay below the radar in a small town. Her break-up with her football coach boyfriend and growing interest in her best friend's widower are grist to the local gossip mill. Her friendship with the local psychic and the return of her prodigal mother are the cherries on the cake.

Add a meddling preacher, a water-loving dog and a man trying to shake off his past, and Ellie's got more than enough on her plate in her quest for love.

Small town life is nicely encapsulated in this whimsical story.

Ellie’s been friends with Noah for years. They helped each other through the sudden death of Lily, Ellie’s best friend and Noah’s wife. So why is she suddenly having inappropriate thoughts about him? She’s barely broken up with the local high school coach (something the people in town may never forgive her for as it seems the team’s game is off).

Noah can’t figure out why things changed either, but they have. He’s feeling happy for the first time since Lily’s death, and it’s all because of his new feelings for Ellie. In theory, theirs is a romance that should have been simple and easy. Until you factor in Ellie’s past (and her mother’s, with whom she is constantly compared). She has a history of not "sticking" in a relationship, and no one wants to see Noah hurt. Especially not Ellie.

And then there’s Noah’s severe fear of loving and losing again. Not to mention the ghost of Lily that lingers between them.

While I found both internal conflicts believable, I also thought they were dragged out too long. After a bit I felt like a yo-yo. They’d get past their problems, then suddenly they would let them intrude again. Then they’d get past them, and then they’d intrude. Again and again.

Regardless, the author’s skill with the written word and her distinctively interesting and diverse characters kept me turning pages.

Perhaps because of the many other books I’ve read and enjoyed by this author, I hold her to a very high standard. I’ve come to expect the best from Ms. Fredrick. While this story may not have been my favorite of hers, it still entertained me with its cast, its sexual tension (one thing this author especially excels at), the spicy love scenes and the satisfying, sigh-inducing ending.

If you haven’t added M. J. Fredrick to your auto-buy list, you should. I have yet to be disappointed.