Review: The Sweetest Thing by Catherine Woodman

Review: The Sweetest Thing by Catherine WoodmanThe Sweetest Thing by Catherine Woodman

Series: #3 Talyton St. George
on April 28, 2011
Pages: 400
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
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four-stars  

Once in a while, I enjoy those poignant stories that start with a woman having to start over and rebuild her life.  A story that goes along tamely through simple activities while full of emotion and ending on a high note looking back to show how far the heroine has come.  This was my first time reading this author and her stories about a little Devon village, but I will definitely be going back for more.

Jennie Copeland decides she and her children need a fresh start so she moves them out of London to a farm house in the country.  Her husband cheated on her more than once and after fourteen years left her for his latest.  She is ready to put it behind her even though the wounds are fresh.  Her children aren’t too keen on the move, but she has promised them the best things that come with country life and promised herself that she will pursue her dream of a business baking cakes.

Her farmhouse needs a great deal of TLC, her neighbor isn’t that welcoming, her children are miserable, her ex gives her a hard time about moving the kids so far away and she is terrified of jumping out into this new venture. She takes things one step at a time and it starts to come together slowly.  And slowly she builds a friendship with Guy Barnes her neighbor and she can see it becoming so much more.  He is quietly there for her and the children.  Over time she has learned Guy’s background and why he was so gruff at first.  They have much in common.

Life is not easy for Jennie and she is forced to make some hard decisions even to the point in putting aside her chance with Guy because her ex tells her he’s going for full custody claiming she’s an unfit mother.  Her oldest child, Adam, grows even more angry and bitter over circumstances making her feel guilty for the time she must put into her business of cakes.  Things come to a head and Jennie is left ready to throw in the towel on everything she started.

As I mentioned the plot on this one follows the heroine’s attempt to start over and the new life she makes for herself and her children.  It is also a clear look at what its like for a family trying to survive a break-up.  Jennie had every reason to behave badly after the cheating and the cruel accusations, but other than quick reactions of anger and pain, she does a good job of holding it together for the children.  The pace is gentle as is the romance aspect.  Now not to say there aren’t exciting or tense moments because there are.  I liked that the characters are ordinary and flawed people.  Jennie makes a clean break and is determined to do for herself.  Sometimes her determination gets her in trouble when she won’t heed sound advice thinking this means she is leaning on others to solve her problems and after her ex-husband swept the foundations of her life out from under her, she doesn’t want to trust anyone, but herself ever again.  The heroine is middle-aged as is her hero.  She’s a bit leery after all the times her ex-husband cheated on her plus she wants her children to be okay with things so their romance is rather tentative.  But through it all, it was a nice look at life and a second chance at happiness.  I was really rooting for her to make good on her dreams and do what she could to recover from a wrenching divorce.

This was a heartwarming story that I can recommend for those who enjoy a sweet contemporary romance that doesn’t shy away from the tough issues or a mature heroine.

My thanks to Net Galley for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

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I was born and raised near Sacramento, CA. I have read since I was four years old and developed tastes that run the gamut of literature. I went away to college and have a degree in education, a certificate in family history research, and a certificate in social work. I worked for a non-profit agency with low income families for 20 years which included being responsible for the children’s library and promoting/teaching adult literacy. I have lived in Southeast Michigan for the last 18 years and I am currently a book addicted homemaker with a cat and husband who keep me grounded. Recently, I made it a challenge to review each book that I have read as a favor to author friends who said reviews are important. I have done reviews for Good Reads, Amazon, eBay, and Smashwords, but mostly at Goodreads and Amazon.
  • Interesting. I wouldn’t have gathered that from the cover. Sounds like one I might enjoy though 🙂

    • This was just something different I wanted to try- British contemporary by a Brit. I enjoyed it, but I will say that it is a minimal romance and more a women’s fiction in case that matters for you.

      • Nah I don’t mind women’s fiction feel but do like to know going in it’s less romancy. Gets my mind frame right I guess so I’m not disappointed when the romance isn’t upfront and strong.

        • That’s me too. I like to know how much girl power vs. girl gets guy that I’m getting.