Bethany, a widow, finds herself back in her hometown and burdened, unknowingly, by all the treasures and trinkets she and her (deceased) mother-in-law accumulated over the years. Her own mother, Naomi, works hard to bring Bethany out of seclusion by constantly setting Bethany up with an old, unmarried friend, Pete. Naomi also encourages Bethany to clean out the clutter and I think Bethany single-handedly provides all the goods for a giant rummage sale. This book is set in "Bloomfield" where, oddly, the garden club seems to run the town. It is meant to be a charming place where everyone is in everyone else's business. Bethany and Pete are surrounded by colorful characters such as Pamela and the annoying bird. It has a predictable ending, but the story was fine. It was a fast read and this was one book in a series.
Bethany's husband has died, her only child is off to college, and she's moved back to Bloomfield, close to her controlling mother. Pete, the plumber, has known and secretly loved Bethany since childhood. He hopes to have a chance to catch her eye, but Bethany is too easily pulled this way and that by other influences to consider him as more than a friend. Characters are undeveloped and flat.
Murray, the parrot, is another unbelievable character. If left alone, he opens his cage door, escapes, and creates chaos. I don't know why a lock cannot be found for the cage. To keep the peace, he is brought everywhere. He interrupts every conversation with his talking and squawking. He actually thinks, reasons, and communicates with people. Believe me, you've never met a parrot like this one!
The plot is simplistic, and there are no unexpected surprises. This is not one of my favorites. Perhaps you'll like it more than I did.
Thank you to Bonnie at Christian Fiction Blog Alliance and B&H Books for my copy.
Ever since Bethany Hanahan moved back to Bloomfield after her husband Charlie passed away two and a half years ago, people have been after her to get rid of the clutter - first her mother Naomi and then a few other garden club members who meant well. But until recently, she didn't see it as clutter. To Bethany, it was all about the memories. Charlie had been a wonderful husband and father before he found out he had advanced stage prostate cancer. After he passed away, her mother had tried to talk her into returning to Bloomfield, but she decided to wait until Ashley finished high school before moving into the modest house Charlie's parents had left them.
Charlie and Pete both worked for their families' businesses part-time during high school, with the understanding they'd eventually go full-time until their parent retired. Bethany and Charlie hung around for a couple of years, but he grew tired of Bloomfield and the small-town quirkiness. Leaving her family and friends, she moved away with him as soon as he could find a job. She compensated for her homesickness by finding joy in Charlie's happiness.
Bethany once thought they might eventually move back to Bloomfield, but after Ashley was born, that changed. Bethany and Charlie didn't want to pull their daughter away from the church-based social life that kept her busy with so many activities. But now all of that changed with Charlie's death. If only she could find a way to part with the many knick knacks that now filled her small home literally to overflowing leaving no room for movement or cleaning. If only she knew a way to do that, she just might more than light at the end of the tunnel in moving on.
In the novel For the Love of Pete by Debby Mayne, Bethany Hanahan remains at the center of what her mother Naomi believes is best for her and trying to find a happy medium to keep her sanity in tack. She just isn't ready to part with the overflowing keepsakes from Charlie's mother, the gifts that Charlie and Ashley have helped her collect over the years they had with one another, but now it seems that everyone knows what's best for Bethany without taking her feelings into consideration. All except Pete, who has always carried a torch for Bethany since he and Charlie vied for her heart so many years ago. But Pete isn't sure when will be the right time to tell her how he felt even though everyone else in town can see it as plain as day. Is there hope for Pete to find a way into Bethany's already cluttered and overflowing life? Only time will tell!
I received For the Love of Pete by Debby Mayne compliments of Christian Fiction Blog Alliance and B and H Publishing Group for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation for a favorable review and the opinions expressed are strictly my own. I can understand the conflicts that Bethany is facing with each object that has filled her home. It carries with it the time and place of someone close to her, the day she got it and most importantly the love she feels by touching it and remembering. Her mother only wants to see her moving on with her life instead of remaining locked away in her home with only things from the past keeping her company. Pete is the perfect hero to come along at a time when she really needs a true friend! I rate this novel a 4 out of 5 stars and love how well Debby Mayne put all the elements together to create a truly remarkable series readers will love.
I was really excited to read this book because I enjoy Debby's Class Reunion series so much. Unfortunately, I was a bit disappointed. But let me tell you what I liked first.
This book is full of great characters. They are quite funny and very scheming. Pete is an extremely nice guy and Bethany is a strong, if not somewhat confused, heroine.
Bethany likes to fill her life with stuff. Who hasn't been guilty of that at one time or another? We often believe if we get more stuff or hold onto our stuff we will be happy, fulfilled. God is the only One who can satisfy us, but it can take us a long time to figure it out (some of us longer than others).
What is didn't like so much was that the book seemed a bit choppy. I felt like I didn't see the flow of movement in each character.
There was also a lot of info. dumping in the first chapter. I think that could have been showed throughout the book instead of told to the reader through internal monologue.
As always, these are my thoughts only.
Grab yourself a copy and form your own opinion if this sounds like a story you might connect with :)
A copy of this book was given to me by the publisher through the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance in exchange for an honest review.
Bethany lost her husband over two years ago. She has moved back to her hometown, to the home she inherited from her in-laws. It is full of ceramic creations from her mother-in-law, plus her own collections of knick knacks. Pushing 50, romance is the last thing on her mind.
Pete and Bethany were once an item. Now Pete has taken over his father's plumbing business and is bringing it to the point of success. He can't believe it when he sees Bethany back in town. He's a committed bachelor but something stirs inside him when he thinks of her.
The most exciting event in Bloomfield's future is a festival proposed by Bethany's mother. Bloomfield needs just a few more residents for that magic number of 10,000 - needed to get into the Best Small Towns of America book. It is hoped the festival will draw people to the town.
Various quirky characters come together to make the festival a reality. Bethany is encouraged to give up some of her knick knacks for festival prizes. Giving up her prized possessions is something she struggles to do.
There you have it. A rather calm story line. There is no heart stopping action or suspense. This is a good novel for those who like a gentle novel and don't mind the plot tension that does appear being repeated several times.
I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review.