Reviewer: Lori Graham
Title: Small Town Girl
Author: Patricia Rice
Publisher: Ballantine Ivy Books
Release Date: February 2006
Genre/Sub-genre: Contemporary Romance
Year/Setting: Current, Northfork, North Carolina
Overall rating: 4.5
Sexual content rating: Mildly Sexual
Language (profanity) rating: None
Patricia's Website: www.patriciarice.com
Flynn Clinton (Flint) has left behind all that he has known and is determined to make a new life for himself in small town, Northfork. He now owns a rather run down coffee shop in a town which is economically challenged. His only employee, Joella Sanderson, is the primary reason town’s folk come into the shop. He is awed by how together she seems to hold things while appearing so …well…untogether.
Flint has spent a lifetime being a musician. He plays guitar and sings – neither of which on a grand scale. However, he can write music. After losing his wife in a car accident and his own drunk driving accident, he has lost some use in his left hand and his two sons (currently living with his parents). He knows the music world would take him away from his sons again so he is determined to make it on his own outside of that world. In spite of this, however, he wants the royalties and the credit due him from RJ’s (his old partner) new CD. After all he put a lot of work into writing the music to go with the lyrics RJ wrote and is entitled especially since it will help set things up for his sons to come back to him.
In the small world we live in, however, things soon come to a head when Flint discovers that RJ didn’t write those lyrics – Joella Sanderson did. Joella is trying to find a way to get back at "Randy" for dumping her as well as taking advantage of her musical gifts. Because he knows it is the right thing to do, Flint offers to help her do just that.
Along the way, though, each one finds the hurt within the other and is drawn to easing that pain and finding some happiness along the way.
Being from a small town myself, I really enjoyed the atmosphere in Small Town Girl. I could find myself relating to many of the "political" discussions taking place and some of the things you take for granted living in a small town. So many memories came back for me – especially everyone knowing what everyone else is doing. That has its up side and its down side.
Flint and Joella are some very interesting characters. It is like both individuals have separate sides. One side is very strong and full of incredible gifts especially in the area of music. The other side, however, is currently in control with its fears and doubts raining all over the parade they could be enjoying.
Patricia Rice truly creates a town in her story with all of the characters she introduces. None of those characters becomes so overwhelming that they take anything away from the two main characters. However, they lend additional humanity, wit, and enjoyment to round out the story. After all the world isn’t made up of two people but all of those around them – family and friends combined. Yes, they can find happiness individually and as a couple but as a town??
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