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Friday, June 29, 2012

A Saint Comes Stumbling In by Bonnie McCune

A Saint Comes Stumbling In by Bonnie McCune
Publisher: Inspired Romance Novels
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full Length (255 pages)
Heat Level: Sweet
Rating: 3.5 stars
Reviewed by Camellia

Can a discarded wife find confidence, success and even a new love? A patron saint might help.

Thirty-something Joan Nelson has more to contend with than a biological clock or an identity crisis, for her husband of twelve years has fled. Despite her ardent belief in a conventional marriage, she finds herself deserted for a younger, slimmer woman. Lacking any skills or education, she’s thrust unprepared into the nightmare challenge of making a living for the first time in her sheltered existence.

A job as a receptionist in a law firm is the first rung on the ladder to her independence. Yet the taste of success sours when Joan considers the emptiness of her personal life. How can she reconstruct her damaged life and heal her bruised ego? Ill-equipped for the singles scene, she embarks on a confusing, sometimes frightening, lifestyle.

But when Joan stumbles on a crime perpetuated by a charming cad, she must defy her boss, jeopardize her newly won stability, and reject her friends. Her namesake, Joan of Arc, provides a model of courage and insight. If she risks danger and uncertainty, will she discover that independence and adulthood can be both enjoyable and fulfilling? Does optimism beat pessimism? Who would have dreamed her final victory could solve a childhood puzzle while it brings her true love?

Bubbling with humor and replete with growing pains of a divorced woman, A Saint Comes Stumbling In takes the reader on a vicarious journey with Joan Nelson. She goes from a stay-home wife with limited marketable skills, whose self image is in the cellar, to being a capable, confident, much loved lady. The zigs and zags, stumbles, falls, and scrambling back up to try again make the reader keep turning pages just to see what will happen next.

Joan’s almost manic-depressive personality has her operating at “sky high or dirt low” most of the time. Her stages of grief, her self-deprecation, and her self-improvement projects keep her emotions on a roller coaster ride. In her self-centered world, she seems blind to both her mother and her longtime friend, Kevin’s unfailing support.

Dolores, her ever optimistic friend, coaxes Joan out into the “hunt-for-a-man” world where Joan is exposed to segments of society alien to her way of life. The descriptions of these encounters tickle the funny bone.

Joan’s obsession with Scott Clark, the young, handsome lawyer, sets her on a self-improvement phase that her friend Kevin organizes for her and helps her to stay on target. As they interact, the reader soon realizes Kevin has one agenda and Joan has another—fun to see how things evolve.

A few of the episodes in A Saint Comes Stumbling In are a little too-far-out, yet ridiculously funny. Overall the story is a rite of passage story about a “late-bloomer” who is slow to recognize her own worth and see the true love that’s been waiting in the wings for her to mature.

Bonnie McCune entertains with a special charm. She writes in first person that fits the self-centeredness of Joan at this stage in her life. The multitude of funny events, disasters, and the metamorphosis of Joan make the reader’s journey with her delightful. It's like riding on waves of both subtle and blatant humor with an undertow of the devastation divorce can bring to a woman. Good Reading!