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Talk of the Town    by Suzanne Macpherson order for
Talk of the Town
by Suzanne Macpherson
Order:  USA  Can
Avon, 2003 (2003)
* *   Reviewed by Martina Bexte

Kelly Atwood and her boyfriend Raymond have been sharing life, love and business interests for a number of years. Unfortunately, Kelly discovers on their honeymoon that Raymond has been holding out on her about another of his business interests - she accidentally finds a stash of cocaine in his luggage. Furious that he's dealing drugs, she confronts Raymond and he smacks her. Nobody gets away with hitting Kelly and she reciprocates with a sharp left hook that knocks Raymond's lights out. After determining that he's still breathing, Kelly throws a few things together, grabs Raymond's car keys and makes tracks. As far as she's concerned, the honeymoon - and her life with Raymond - is over.

Discovering that she's made off with a bundle of Raymond's cash as well as the car, Kelly keeps driving and ditches his car in Seattle. On a bus she meets Myrtle Crabtree on her way back home to Paradise, Washington. They hit it off immediately, despite Kelly's leaving out important details about herself and the reason she's travelling. Before Kelly knows it she's living above Myrtle's beauty shop in Paradise, setting local tongues wagging. Kelly's well aware that Mrytle and her friends are trying to 'fix her up' with the town's most eligible bachelor. Lawyer Sam Grayson is the handsome home town boy back from the big city for good after a failed relationship. Neither Kelly nor Sam has any intention of getting romantically involved again any time soon, especially when set up by a contingent of the town's elderly ladies. But every so often fate simply wins out over the machinations of a bunch of well-meaning busybodies.

Suzanne Macpherson writes a breezy and enjoyable story in Talk of the Town. While most of her characters are modeled after common stereotypes, the author infuses just enough quirkiness, humour and small town charm to keep readers interested. Kelly and Sam complement each other nicely -- it's fun following Sam's internalizing as he tries talking himself out of falling for Kelly, just as Kelly tells herself that falling head over heels for Sam might not be her smartest move -- at least until she's gotten herself out of her fix with Raymond. Overall Talk of the Town is a nice way to while away a free afternoon.

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