Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Pamela Morsi - Bitsy's Bait and BBQ

Free-spirited Katy Dodson is already fantasizing about the perfect small-town life she'll share with her five-year-old son, Josh. But her sister Emma wonders who in their right mind would use her hard-won divorce settlement to purchase Bitsy's B & B down in the Ozarks.
And, as usual, Emma is right: because in Warbler Lake, Missouri, B & B stands for Bait and BBQ!
With their money and future sunk into a run-down, roadside rattletrap, the girls have no choice but to roll up their sleeves. Soon they know the difference between night crawlers and shiners, and Warbler Lake begins to feel like a place to build a home.
But trouble arrives when Katy's ex-husband declares he wants custody of Josh. Katy thought that getting Bitsy's B & B up and running was the biggest challenge she'd ever face. But now, with Emma's help, she's determined to keep her son and the future she's worked so hard to create.

Comment: This is another one of the books by Pamela Morsi I've had to read and this month, I picked this one. I was really in the mood the see two different but close sisters find love in a different place...at least it was what I imagined based on the blurb.
Emma and Katy are sisters and now that Katy is divorced, they use her divorce settlement to buy a restaurant in the middle of a very small town, thinking about a new beginning. But the restaurant doesn't look like the one on the internet add they saw and there's a lot to be done before it's even serviceable. With the town's help though, Katy feels she's found the best place for herself and her small son to live in. Knowing her sister will be gone eventually, this is the right place to educate Josh.
Emma is the oldest and she thought this would be Katy's place in life but can she really leave her sister and nephew, especially when Sean, Katy's ex shows up with his mother too, to confuse Katy all over again?
This book has all the author's trademarks, namely the light tone hiding more serious issues that catch the reader unaware but leave us pleasantly surprised. I'm always amazed by how silly some situations seem to be but among all that we have serious issues that are addressed and presented and which add up depth to the stories and I like it.
I was caught by surprise with the fact we wouldn't get two romances in one. Maybe I've been used to romances to a level where I expect them to be presented a certain way so I was getting suspicious by the lack of romance in Emma's life. I really thought this would be about the two sisters finding love in a small town, where it wouldn't be something they expected.
Katy found love again yes, but Emma didn't. I understand why, after all Emma had a different path in life she wanted and she kind of deserved it after all the sacrifices she did to help her sister. But I still thought it would be different.
Katy's romance was one of those lovers reunited tropes I don't like. She and her ex got a divorce because he walked out on her but now he is coming to town to check on her and their son Josh and along with his mother maybe try to get Josh from Katy. Of course things aren't that simple, but in terms of a love story I can appreciate their connection and feelings but...well, I think it wasn't a strong bond all things considered. Sean is a very dedicated worker and has the passion for it, he has doubts but who hasn't, however, he has responsibilities, he had a son and he still chose to leave them...and the scene where we meet him isn't appealing nor does it make him captivating to me either. Of course I like how happy they end up, but Katy also felt too forgiving. Sure, it's her nature but everything was too easy, too simple. Maybe if people thought less and acted more, things would actually be done and solved but my cynical mind thought this too unlikely.
So Emma isn't a love interest but there is a slight secondary romance...two if one counts well, but only one is exploited enough. I think it was cute and focused on interesting issues. Did I feel it was amazing? Not really but I wish I could see more of it. The same for the other love interest, I really wanted to see it develop. The author uses many tricks to make this story feel richer, fuller and I appreciate that. I like how so many things are dealt with but not studied or presented to exhaustion just to show off the author's skills and research, in fact she is quite balanced in her structured issues and that makes the book easily but interestingly read.
I still think some situations weren't very appealing. But I can't say it was badly done, just not something I envisioned...I'm back to Katy and Sean's relationship. I'm glad they found their HEA at last but the way it happened wasn't as profound as I imagined.
In terms of plot, I liked some situations, I liked the secondary characters and what they sort of represent...I actually felt interested in them and why they were like that. I think the author creates amazing secondary characters, with very precise personalities. I'm including Katy's friend Nadine, the pastor Curt, Sean's mother Gwen, the ex lawyer Latt, the children... everyone works well in this.
As for the three main characters, Katy was too naïve. I'm sure people like her exist, always looking at the bright side but she was too forgiving.
Sean didn't feel like a man one could rely on. I don't mean as a human being, but as a love interest, I don't know...
Emma is fascinating, I loved her vision of things and I applaud her need to get an education, to try to have a normal and independent life but I also wanted her to be in love, to see her go through that experience...
In the end, the restaurant works out, people like and help with it and the good thing about books like this one is the sense of community it offers, it suggests one can find one day. I like that idea, no matter how dreamy it sounds. Apart from the two things I would have liked to see differently (Emma's lack of romance and Katy and Sean's fast reunion -that we saw happening), everything else was interesting, easy to follow, captivating. A sequel wouldn't be a bad thought...
Grade: 7/10

No comments:

Post a Comment