I just finished Natural Born Charmer by Susan Elizabeth Phillips.
Seriously...I can't say enough about this book. I loved the town. I LOVED the farm. I want to MOVE there. Holy crap, between April's spectacular renovations and the hilarity that goes on in that town? NOT TO MENTION the hilarity between Dean and Blue? OH my god I am in such withdrawal.
I have to send out a huge THANK YOU to JJ and Tonya, because they made me read this book. And JJ is also a thousand percent correct in her assessment that this would make a fantastic screenplay. I see this as a weekly TV series. This town...these characters...they are just too good not to take to another level. I can't get enough of them.
I have to admit though...I was reeling when Dean's friends showed up out of nowhere and he blew off Blue. WTF?!? Don't get me wrong - I understood him being blind-sided and not quite knowing what to do or say. But when Blue went to the STORE FOR THAT BITCH, COURTNEY?!? OH my god, I was so mad at her for doing that. My ass would have walked out then and there. I won't blame Dean, because I'm not sure he even know that happened, but still. He left with them and apparently accepted Courtney as one of his many girlfriends for the day. More WTF?!? THAT was stepping WAY out of line. I wished we'd have heard that he pulled her aside and set her straight (like he did with that bimbo at the end, thank god.) I was literally shaking in my bed when I read that whole section. I couldn't put it down because I could not even begin to think about sleeping after that.
Relationships I loved:
When Dean finally gave in and let himself become Riley's brother. I was aching for this to happen. Hell, I'd love a book about their relationship in the years to come.
Jack and Blue? Priceless. She was terrified of him and I could relate to that in a zillion ways. My Jack Patriot is John Taylor from Duran Duran. (I can hear you giggling across the country, Staci!) When I first met him (yes, I said "first". Groupie, much?), I figured I'd never get the chance to speak to him again (and had some serious beer guts working). So I tapped him on the back to get his attention...and when he turned around, all I could manage was "Great show!" GREAT SHOW?! Reminds me of Baby in Dirty Dancing. "I carried a watermelon?!" This was followed by a horrifically embarrassing interview at a Duran Duran gallery exhibit where I told the camera I couldn't believe the suit he wore in the Save a Prayer video was so..."orange"...knowing the video was for him. Yes. You read that right. Fifty million times I've watched Save a Prayer, and that's all I can get out of my mouth?!? Orange?! OK - digression over. Moving on...
Riley and Nita - OMG Nita made my heart bleed a few times. And even though her compliments were half-assed and backhanded, I knew she meant well and was just as insecure as everyone else. And I have to tell you, I'm a little upset that Jack left with April and Riley. Poor Nita! New housekeeper or not, she and Riley were great little friends. I hope Riley visits every summer and Skypes with Nita.
Speaking of Nita...one person who instantly came to my mind to play her: Dale Raoul who plays Maxine Fortenberry on True Blood. I know she's much younger than the character, but I can't help it. She plays such a tremendous southern, small-town BEOTCH on True Blood; I saw her immediately when Nita showed up in the diner and sat down with Blue and Riley. Perhaps we can un-gnarl her knuckles just a wee bit? :)
More casting tomorrow. I'm going to be thinking about this in my sleep.