Author: Sharon Sala
Publication: February 4, 2014 by Sourcebooks Landmark
Reviewed by: Taryn
Rating: 4 stars
Reason for Reviewing: Ebook provided in exchange for an honest review.
A brand new Southern women's fiction from New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Sharon Sala who has 1.5 million books sold.
Wally Lamb meets Steel Magnolias in this story of LilyAnn Bronte, the Peachy-Keen Queen, which in Blessings, Georgia, was the epitome of success. After losing her fiance in the war in Iraq, her zest for life went into decline while added weight crept on. When a new guy arrives in town, LilyAnn embarks on a quest to remake herself from start to finish only to discover that love was always just right next-door.
Back in high school, LilyAnn Bronte was the head cheerleader, the homecoming queen, and the valedictorian. She dated the star quarterback, Randy Joe, and was named the Peachy Keen Queen. She seemed to have everything going for her and her future was bright until Randy Joe joined the Army and went off to war, never to return. Not only did LilyAnn lose her first love, she also lost her way in life. Years later, she is still grieving Randy Joe, and she has let herself go in many ways. She’s stayed out of the dating pool but has only recently started to feel as if she might want to jump back in. When a handsome new man comes to town, it motivates her to start taking better care of herself with a major lifestyle overhaul. She believes that she needs to get her act together and work on her appearance if she wants to attract and impress this newcomer.
What LilyAnn doesn’t know, however, is that there already is a man who loves her just the way she is. Mike Dalton, her neighbor and childhood friend, has never mustered up the courage to tell LilyAnn how he feels. So he continues to pine for her secretly and give her the space she needs to grieve her loss. He can’t help but wonder, what will it take for LilyAnn to notice him as more than a friend? Or is it too late--will she end up falling for another man instead?
I enjoyed this sweet love story set in the charming town of Blessings, Georgia. The tone is lighthearted for most of the story (except for a few intense scenes). The secondary characters were all interesting in their own right, especially Ruby Dye, beautician and owner of The Curl Up and Dye hair salon. It was fun to see just how much Ruby knew about everyone’s business since her salon functioned as a sort of town confessional. Gossip moved pretty quickly through this small town, and Ruby always had the scoop. She also helped people work through their problems. My mom is a hairdresser, and I think she’d really like this character, too!
I’m interested in seeing where this series goes and which characters are featured in the next book. If you like The Curl Up and Dye, you can also check out Color Me Bad, a novella also set in Blessings, Georgia.