Review: Small Town Rumors by Carolyn Brown

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☆☆➹⁀☆ 4 stars ☆➹⁀☆☆

What It’s About:

Everyone is talking about Jennie Sue Baker and the mess she made of her life in New York. The former high school queen bee—and wealthy darling of Bloom, Texas—has returned home after all these years, riding on a common bus and bearing two bounced alimony checks.In a town that thrives on gossip, Jennie’s fall from grace has shamed her mother, set the town buzzing, and caused old, jealous enemies to whisper in delight. They say she’s taken a job as a housekeeper, gotten a garage apartment, and might be crushing on Rick Lawson, a simple farmer with modest dreams.

As romance starts to bud, Jennie relishes what it means to follow her heart, find real new friends, and finally be herself—regardless of all the lying town chatter. But fate has another twist in store. Rumor has it that Jennie now stands to lose what matters most…unless she can convince Rick of one true thing—and that’s love.

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My Thoughts:

The title Small Town Rumors says it all.  You live in a small town, everyone knows your business, and given the dearth of entertainment, gossip is the hottest ticket in town.  Whether you’re liked or despised, every step you take becomes the talk of the town.

Jennie Sue Baker, ​a former debutante from a wealthy family, returns home on a bus instead of her daddy’s private jet.  Divorced and penniless, Jennie becomes the talk of the town when she takes a job as a house-cleaner for a pair of elderly sisters.  Jennie’s stay in town becomes much more interesting when she is reacquainted with Cricket Lawson–who thinks of Jennie as her arch nemesis–and her older brother, Rick, who has returned from a tour of duty physically wounded and emotionally shattered.  All three carry baggage that colors their self-image.

As Jennie muddles through adulating and establishing her independence, she grapples with long-standing family issues and secrets.  Meanwhile, her unpresuming, open demeanor, forces Cricket and Rick to see her for who she is rather than accepting Jennie’s rumored reputation. This, in fact, is one of the running theme throughout the book.

I love stories set in small towns, and Carolyn Brown is one of my favorite authors in the Southern, small town romance genre.  All the characters are fully developed and very likable; their foibles are mostly silly and forgivable. I enjoyed Jennie’s journey from sad, scandalized divorcee to confident, woman in charge. Likewise, Rick opening up to the idea that someone could love his broken, scarred body was heartwarming.  Cricket’s metamorphosis is like enduring high school drama all over again, but in the end, it is apparent that her viscous tongue is all about her feelings of inadequacy.  It just took her a long time to emotionally grow-up and lovingly accept herself and her life.

Small Town Rumors is a charming romance that is fantastically narrated by: Brittany Pressley

© Copyright 2019 Book Junkie Reviews. All rights reserved.

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