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Yankee Doodle Dixie    by Lisa Patton order for
Yankee Doodle Dixie
by Lisa Patton
Order:  USA  Can
St. Martin's, 2012 (2011)
Hardcover, Softcover, CD, e-Book

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* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Lisa Patton's Yankee Doodle Dixie is the sequel to her charming Whistlin' Dixie in a Nor'easter, in which Leelee Satterfield's perfect life in her home town of Memphis, Tennessee imploded after her sportsaholic husband Baker (whom she'd adored since tenth grade) announced his plan to buy the Vermont Haus Inn in subzero Vermont and to transplant the family there!

After Leelee moved with her little girls Sarah and Isabella and her beloved golden years Yorkie to chilly Vermont, Baker deserted them - for an older woman, no less - leaving his wilting hothouse flower of a wife to run the inn. Luckily Leelee's three close friends (Virginia, Mary Jule, and Alice) came to her rescue. They helped her Southernize the Vermont Haus Inn as the Peach Blossom Inn. Leelee hired a hot new chef, Peter Owen - and promptly fell for him.

As Yankee Doodle Dixie opens, Leelee and the girls have driven back to Memphis, leaving Peter in Vermont (after a memorable kiss). Leelee dreams of her Yankee Doodle joining her in Tennessee, but will he leave what he knows and a good job for her? She writes letters to him but doesn't mail them. In the meantime, she must find a place for herself and the girls to live, get them into a good school, and find a job. She does so with plenty of help from her black mother, Kissie, and her best friends.

Networking finds her a job at a radio station, where she meets rock superstar Liam White, who likes her looks - and her friends. He invites her to join him in New York. But though everything is first class and Liam is hot, Leelee is disillusioned by the celebrity's selfishness and has second thoughts. She quits her job and is at a loss as to what to do next, but then has a brainstorm, one that leads her to a much happier life on all fronts.

Though I didn't enjoy Yankee Doodle Dixie quite as much as Whistlin' Dixie in a Nor'easter, it's still great fun, especially the description of the friends' visit to Graceland during the Elvis Week revelry. I look forward to whatever Lisa Patton writes next.

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