In this follow up to River Song, Miss Thompson transports us back to the sleepy Oregon town now revitalized and the colorful characters who live and work there. This time we follow the story of Annie, talented chef of River Song whose sordid past involved an abusive ex-boyfriend, alcoholic and junkie with two strikes. When she discovers she’s pregnant and is given assistance by Planned Parenthood she makes a desperate attempt to escape and send the man to jail.
Ten years later the success of the River Song brings her past to her door as the father of her child is out on parole and hell bent on revenge. She finds solace from a wealthy recluse who’s new in town and in need of a personal chef. While both parties are wrapped up in their own problems they find themselves drawn to each other and Drake ends up acting as her protector.
This story had a kind of Beauty and the Beast feel to me which I loved. I also loved getting to know the people of River Valley better in a Return to Mayberry kind of way and I understand book 3 is now out.
Buy Riverbend on Amazon
Today it’s all about Ms. Tess Thompson! In this post I’ll be reviewing the first of Ms. Thompson’s books, Riversong as part of her virtual tour. Later, as a two for one special I’ll also review the sequel, Riverbend. So let’s begin shall we?
Lee Tucker lives a miserable existence. The death of the grandparents she never knew leaves her with a depressed alcoholic mother who she needs to cut away from in order to survive. With the urging of a teacher and family friend, Lee heads for Seattle where she dreams of becoming an artist. Of course life seems to like kicking Miss Tucker around and we find the young woman has abandoned her study of art for a degree in business and now has her hands full dealing with an aggressive loan shark who wants his $1 million now thanks to her husband who just committed suicide without telling her anything. Oh yeah and did I mention she’s pregnant?
Dun dun duuuuuuun!
After selling everything she has and only coming up with half the money owed, Lee flees back to her hometown in Oregon where she hopes to sell the house and property her mother left to her when she died the year before. Just like her life, Lee finds the little podunk town crumbling, dilapidated and struggling to stay alive. In search of work she finds herself face to face with the richest man in town, who desperately wants to save it, and is hired to turn his restaurant around and restore the town. As she struggles with her own personal fears and desperation to raise the rest of the money before the loan shark can find her and start over in a new town she finds herself becoming more and more endeared to the place she once grew up in and making friends. One especially hot and scrumptious friend, Tony Gonzalas, is compelled to come to her rescue and protect her and while Lee is still mourning the loss of her husband, blaming herself at times for not seeing the warning signs of his depression and suicidal tendencies, she’s also dealing with guilt for being attracted to Tony.
This is a very good book with compelling characters and a story that just draws you in. You can’t help but want to hug Lee, Linus and Annie and yes even Zac at times. The inner strength that many of these characters show as they pull together and battle their demons separately and together makes you root for them even harder as the story goes on and the romance is very sweet. My only complaint is that Tony seems to also smell and taste like chocolate. I don’t know if the author is equating chocolate with his being Latin or because she likes chocolate that much but as a Hispanic reader it’s a bit disconcerting and took me out of the story every time I read that.
Other than that I really liked the story and dove straight into Riverbend. That review will come this afternoon:)
*As part of the virtual book tour, I received a copy from the author in exchange for an honest review*