Adorable! Mr. Write is a must for fans of Susan Elizabeth Phillips, and Jennifer Crusie. Light, bright and sizzlin' hot. The witty repartee, the great cast of characters, and a quirky romance reminds me of each, at her best.
Sarah Barnwell has recently returned to her hometown of Sweetwater, South Carolina. She and her childhood friend, Allie Hawbaker, are partners in The Dust Jacket, a funky new bookstore. Sarah knows she has to lay some ghosts and come to terms with Sweetwater and her past as the daughter of the town drunk. Spunky and resilient, she is ready for the challenge. What she hadn't anticipated is the spectre of an old enemy, an old crime, and the totally new issue of her annoying neighbor: Tucker Pettigrew.
Tucker, scion of the local version of Mr. Potter from It's A Wonderful Life, has recently returned to Sweetwater as well. He is battling grief, the local women, and a growing attraction to the redhead next door. As a writer, he and the bookstore owner should see eye to eye. But these two have mysteries to solve, misunderstandings to overcome, and danger to face before they can find their version of harmony.
They are assisted in these endeavors by a likable cast of characters: Mason, the hunky British actor who is Tucker's best friend; Alllie: Sarah's best friend and the wounded daughter of a prominent Sweetwater family; assorted family members and friends; and a cat that deserves a book of his own.(Side note: one of the charms of the book are the myriad ways Ms. O'Neill uses to describe the cat's obesity...you could make a drinking game out of them,)
The fun in the book comes from the snappy dialogue ...particularly between the romantic leads (although Mason, and Allie's brothers have some pretty good lines). The Southern Gothic charm of the town is a splendid setting for a series. (and that is the good news...a series this is). I hate saying good bye to characters I've grown fond of, and I do a little happy dance when I find a new series to dive into (The next book is Admit One).
Ms. Neill's writing is fast, funny, and smart. A typical passage:
" Of course, equally plausible, they could care less about him, and had merely been drawn to the spectacle that was Mason Armitage.
Mason had insisted that no one in this little backwater would possible recognize a British thespian were one to bite the local citizenry on its collective ass, so Tucker had allowed him to tag along. But now here he was, stupidly giving Mason the opportunity to take his shirt off in a semi-public forum.
Mason - poor, beleaguered creature of beauty that he was - was used to people running into walls when they got their first look at him. He probably hadn't even noticed that there were now three individuals next door, staring.
Well, two of them were still staring. One of them was walking this way."
There is an inherent sweetness to the book that I find refreshing. The characters may be wounded, but they are not jaded. All in all, this is the perfect book for the days when you need a little sunshine, a little fun, and a lot of romance.