Published by Bantam on July 1, 2008
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
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Josey Cirrini is sure of three things: winter is her favorite season, she’s a sorry excuse for a Southern belle, and sweets are best eaten in the privacy of her closet. For while Josey has settled into an uneventful life in her mother’s house, her one consolation is the stockpile of sugary treats and paperback romances she escapes to each night…until she finds her closet harboring Della Lee Baker, a local waitress who is one part nemesis—and two parts fairy godmother. With Della Lee’s tough love, Josey’s narrow existence quickly expands. She even bonds with Chloe Finley, a young woman who is hounded by books that inexplicably appear when she needs them—and who has a close connection to Josey’s longtime crush. Soon Josey is living in a world where the color red has startling powers, and passion can make eggs fry in their cartons. And that’s just for starters.
A lonely woman makes a surprising discovery in her closet in this character-driven adult contemporary romance. Let’s review!
This book is just as magically cute as Sarah Addison Allen’s Garden Spells. Josie is a lonely young caretaker to her mother, Margaret. She hordes sweets in her closet, reads romance novels, and dreams of the mailman, Adam, to keep herself company…until one day she discovers Della Lee Baker hiding in her closet. And so begins a whirlwind novel of love and friendship.
Josie is the perfect main character. At turns sweet, soothing, and daring, Josie grows as she leaves her self-imposed isolation. The developed friendship between her and Della Lee, as well as her and Chloe, is really the best parts of the novel. We need more ladies supporting ladies. The romance between her and Adam is super sweet, if somewhat predictable.
Now two issues bothered me with this novel. The first is Chloe’s development. While Chloe’s growth as an individual is inspiring, I wish it had not come through infidelity (by the way, the infidelity is not a spoiler). I wanted her to figure out she needs to grow, not realize it once Jake is no longer in the picture. My second issue is with Margaret. Honestly, I could not stand Margaret – she is a selfish bitch. View Spoiler » Rowley loving her made absolutely no sense whatsoever, not after the way she treated him and everyone else in the novel. « Hide Spoiler I would have liked to see Margaret grow as a person. The way the book ended the relationship between Josie and Margaret is disappointing.
Finally, I suggest you read the book instead of listening to the audio book. While the narrator had a pleasant voice, she did a poor job distinguishing between different characters.
tl;dr Cute, predictable, character-driven novel featuring romance and friendship.