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Miranda Blue Calling    by Michelle Curry Wright order for
Miranda Blue Calling
by Michelle Curry Wright
Order:  USA  Can
Avon, 2004 (2004)

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* *   Reviewed by Melissa Parcel

Miranda Blue had a long history of terrible relationships with men. She's attracted to handsome, bad-boy types who never fail to disappoint her in the long run. The straw that breaks the camel's back is her latest guy's hitting her in anger over a comment she makes. Miranda knows she must change. She decides to move from New York City to the tiny town of Otnip, Colorado. After swearing off men, she purchases a house and sets up a business - calling elderly people to provide a listening ear and companionship.

Miranda's closest neighbor, Billy Steadman, is a widower who grows incredible vegetables in his greenhouse for a living. Billy is enamored with Miranda, whom he finds fascinating. She does everything in her power to rebuff his tentative moves toward friendship and a romantic relationship. As Miranda's elderly clients get to know her, they become concerned about her solitary life. Billy isn't sure if he should continue to pursue Miranda. Can Miranda fall in love without losing her newfound independence?

This interesting story has a unique premise. I admired Miranda for separating herself from a destructive pattern of relationships, but she does carry her determination a bit too far. Separation ends up being isolation, and she doesn't trust her own judgment. The secondary characters add a great deal of depth to the story and keep it from being one-dimensional - the elderly clients, Miranda's sister and her numerous romances, a pretentious famous author, Billy's best friend, they all add humor.

The idea behind Miranda's job is fascinating. The rapport she develops with these homebound people and the way she shares in their hobbies are highlights of the book. Overall, however, it plods along at a slow pace - the story doesn't pick up until past the halfway point, when many readers will have already lost interest long. If one can overlook this, Miranda Blue Calling is a sweet romance with a great deal of heart.

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