Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Sage Creek-Jill Gregory

Sage Creek
Jill Gregory
Berkley, Oct 4 2011, $7.99
ISBN: 9780425244470

Following her divorce from her cheating spouse, Sophie McPhee sells her San Francisco bakery to return home to Lonesome Way, Oregon. Her mom welcomes her warmly while her late dad never thought much of his offspring.

Sophie visits her pregnant BFF Lissie. She once had a crush on Sophie’s older brother Rafe. A divorced Rafe and his twelve year old daughter Ivy arrive. When she learns Ray’s Diner is closing as the elderly couple is retiring, Sophie decides to open a bakery there. Her former teacher Doug Hartigan says he and her mom are dating. Sophie hates Doug for verbally abusing her as a student.

Sophie enters the Double Cross Bar & Grill to meet her other BFF Mia when a fight breaks out. Rafe keeps her from being hurt. He is attracted to Sophie, but will not act on it out of respect for Lissie and not to confuse his daughter who is still hurting four years after her mother deserted her. Sophie feels the same way as he does. She has no time for romance as she is busy trying to get her A Bun in the Oven bakery to open up. Meanwhile someone wants to hurt Sophie who has no idea who or why. Rafe vows to keep her safe as he and his daughter have fallen in love with his sister’s BFF.

The lead couple is a nice pairing whose issues are external and mostly due to family problems. The strong cast anchors the small town location and many residents play matchmaker involving Sophie and Rafe so they can see how they really feel about one another. Although the villain is over the top of Mt. Rainer and his daughter goes from confused tweener to mature adult , readers will enjoy Sophie’s choice to come home to start over.

Harriet Klausner

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