Monday, October 22, 2012

Lean On Me by HelenKay Dimon


Cassidy Clarke once climbed the world’s highest mountains, but after an unexpected illness ends her career she’s back in her hometown, broke and hoping for a little luck. But the townsfolk aren’t exactly putting out a welcome mat for the woman who once snubbed them in the media, despite her apologies now.

Mitch Anders knows someone has set up camp on the grounds of his plant nursery, and he’s surprised to find his sexy high school crush ducking questions about where she’s staying. Though he’s sworn to stop cleaning up other peoples messes, Mitch offers Cassidy a job and a place to stay--his place. Bed-sharing optional, but definitely welcome.

Out of options and too attracted to Mitch to keep things platonic, Cassidy says yes to his offer. She wants to get back on her feet financially and start a new career. She never expects to suffer a different kind of fall, one that has her believing Mitch just might bring her something bigger and better than luck.

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HelenKay’s website describes the Holloway series as, “A small-town contemporary romance series. The books focus on the men and women of Thomas Nurseries, a landscape company in Holloway, West Virginia, and provide an emotional and sexy story in a novella format.”

Lean on Me is the second book in the three part series. Even though this is part of a series, it isn’t necessary for you to read the first book. Since this is a novella, it consists of roughly 39,000 words and is about 111 pages long. So, it’s a pretty quick read. But somehow it’s a complete story.

Lean on Me focuses on Mitch Anders, Business Manager and co-owner of Thomas Nurseries and Cassidy Clarke, a star Mountain Climber. At one point in time, both were the town of Holloway’s (population 941) favorite son/daughter.

This is a story of how one can literally go from being on top of the world to bottom of the barrel, where people feel they have a right to judge you, without having a clue as to what’s really going on. Lean On Me is different from the other books/novellas in the series, in that it doesn’t take place during the Christmas season.

I found Lean On Me to be both heartbreaking and touching at the same time. It’s romantic and funny. It’s about overcoming your insecurities and being strong enough to stand up for yourself.

What I didn’t like about the book, which is probably what gives the book some of it’s charm, is the town gossip mill. I mean really. It’s like you cough and the whole town finds out about it in less than half an hour, but instead of you coughing, you’re dying of pneumonia.

We get reintroduced to Spence Thomas. If you read It’s Not Christmas Without You, then you might remember him. Spence is another co-owner of the nursery. His story is told in We’ll Be Home for Christmas, coming out this December. But we also get introduced to Travis Yardley, the nursery foreman. Travis was one of my favorite characters and provides a lot of comedy.

Since this is a short story, I don’t want to give too much away. But I will say, you will LOVE Mitch, who is so full of himself that he tells Cassidy immediately that they’re dating. It’s more like hi, we’re dating. You will also love Cassidy for her strength and courage. She’s a survivor in every sense of the word.

I received this book from the publisher via NetGalley for my unbiased review.

Rating: 4

You can purchase this book from Amazon.

HelenKay writes romance and romantic suspense books... There are so many, you have to check out her website.

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