Monday, November 25, 2019

Book Review: The Event

By Sara Steven

There’s a reason Emmeline Frothingham left her hometown of Creek Water, Missouri as soon as humanly possible. That reason is small-minded, judgmental people who wouldn’t know the truth if it was coughed up on them like an errant furball.

After graduating from college, Emmie gets her dream job in New York City. As the head buyer at Silver Spoons--a high-end boutique, and single girl about town, her life is ideal. That is, until the night of The Event, her company’s annual award's ball at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Nerves plus too much tequila leave Emmie dealing with a wicked hangover, the unemployment line, and a surprise to end all surprises.

Facing the repercussions of her wild night, Emmie is forced to go home to work in her family's business. But her return puts her dead in the sights of the gossipy country club harpies who drove her away in the first place.

Will Emmie make peace with her past and embrace the love of her family? Will she discover that the man who seems to be judging her most has a secret of his own? Find out in this deliciously fun romantic comedy, sure to put a smile on your face! (Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads)

The town of Creek Water is just as much of a character as the rest of the crew in The Event, with its small-town charm and easy living. The atmosphere felt idyllic and livable, the perfect backdrop for a woman who sought to leave her little roots behind in search of bigger ones out in New York City. I could literally feel the hesitancy for Emmie, in having to move back to a place where everyone knows everyone’s business, considering she has big business of her own that ultimately becomes part of the gossip mill. She’s trying to leave behind the drama, but finds herself in a whole new heap of it!

But along with the bad comes the good. The re-connection with family makes for some heartwarming moments, even during the times when her family contributes to the stress and chaos Emmie finds herself in. And Cootie! Man oh man, who could forget a memorable character like Cootie? Whitney Dineen has a knack for creating some of the most memorable characters I’ve ever read, and Cootie can be added to that list. She’s like a Nellie Oleson from Little House on the Prairie, but all grown up and itching to wreak havoc. I loved all of the scenes with Cootie in it, even the ones where I’d wanted Emmie to stand up for herself more, to say something, to not let Cootie Nellie Oleson her into a corner.

This goes for Zach, too, the potential love interest with a serious chip on his shoulder the size of Texas. As much as I could feel Emmie’s hesitancy in moving back to her hometown, I also felt her frustration and irritation in Zach’s “will he or won’t he” approach to Emmie. He puts her on a roller-coaster ride of emotions, with mixed signals and hidden agendas with secrets sprinkled in for good measure. For someone who works hard to cut down on the drama, he isn’t scoring any points. But all the same, there’s something about him, given the history between them.

The Event’s foundation is built on the family ties that bind, even when you don’t want them to. The notion of finding your own way in life, even if that means squiggling out the original plans in search of a new one, maybe even a better one. Flowing beneath that foundation is female empowerment and the strength of knowing that ultimately, those who love you have got your back, in the most unexpected of ways. It’s the small-town charm and unconditional love that really hooked this reader, and I can’t wait to read the second book in the Creek Water Series, The Move!

Thanks to Whitney Dineen for the book in exchange for an honest review.

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