The Ninth Step
Amazon Digital Services
This is an e-book.
Landscaper Livie Saunders knows all about the “language of flowers” and she shared her knowledge with fiancee Cotton O’Dell. Then the day that should be one of the happiest in her life turns out to be one of the worst. Cotton fails to show up at the church on their wedding day. In fact he has disappeared and no one knows where he has gone.
Livie throws herself into her work, even burying her wedding dress beneath a garden pond. Other gifts like napkins and tablecloths find their way into some of her other projects. She tries to move on with her life but she can’t bury her feelings. She loved this man and her just left her. She goes a little crazy and hits the town in a red sequined dress and stiletto heels and ends up in more than one stranger’s bed. Realizing the mistakes she is making she puts the dress and the heels away and tries to lead an ordinary life with close friends and family.
Six years later Cotton returns and her carefully constructed life starts to crumble. There are so many questions he needs to answer. He hopes all the people he hurt will forgive him, including Livie. There will be a heavy price to pay when all the secrets come out. Cotton really made a stupid choice when he left town. The decisions he makes now will effect more than his future with Livie, they could have deadly consequences.
Barbara Taylor Sissel has written a very compelling story with some unexpected twists.
The character Cotton makes a split second decision that changes not only his life but the lives of others. It sends him into a downward spiral that lasts until he meets the right person to help him put his life back on track. Alcoholism is a terrible disease many people live with staying sober just “one day at a time”. Part of Alcoholics Anonymous is their 12-step program. Step Nine is to “make amends”. This step is hard when so many people are involved and you did something terrible when you were blinded by alcohol.
Livie life has been in a sort of limbo. You can’t just stop loving someone if when they broke your heart. Then just when she is getting stronger and her life is moving forward the one she loved so much returns. She wants to trust him again but her friends and family do everything they can to keep them apart and protect her.
Both characters had rocky years growing up. As does a certain little girl that has a major impact on this story.
This an emotional story with multifaceted characters. A fine piece of fiction. Another author I want to read more from.
Check out what other readers had to say here.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
I have decided to add a little romance to my blog. Many romances contain an element of mystery and many mysteries have an element of romance so this seems like a natural progression. I won a chance to review this e-book from LibraryThing and it seems like a good way to kick off my return to the world of romance. Don’t worry I promise not to go romance crazy.
Cleo Alyssum has moved to a small seaside town in South Carolina to try to get her life in order. She has a bit of a checkered past. Cleo is on probation and her sister has custody of her son Matty. She has purchased the local hardware store and her past is a secret to her customers. Cleo has befriended a neighbor woman who has her own problems, if for no other reason to help out the woman’s teenage kids. She just has to keep her nose clean and she will get her son back in time for Christmas. The last thing she needs in her life is a man.
Along comes Jared McCloud wanting to rent the beach house on the property. He even offers to pay for repairs and upgrades to the house. Cleo is an extremely private person, she agrees to let him rent the place as long as he respects her privacy. Their lives quickly become intertwined with her holding back and him trying to push forward. Can they have a future in spite of her past?
I really enjoyed this story. Cleo is a woman trying to turn her life around and it isn’t easy especially because she has shut everyone out. Jared is the man that just may be able to break through her barriers while knocking down a few of his own. Their interplay is entertaining and captivating.
Cleo is also very unconventional with her “zoo” and her wonderful inventions to keep trespassers off her property.
This is more than love story, it does have romance and a few sexy scenes, but there is also humor, drama and even a bit of mystery. This may be my first Patricia Rice novel but it definitely is not my last. I have added the entire Carolina Series to my wish list.
To find out more about Patricia and all her books check out her web page.