Beyond Words (book review)
About the book:
The last thing Abby Mathieson wants is what she most needs: a take-care-of-the-business-end partner. Emotional and financial demons spur her dreams of self-reliance and her vow to continue her aunt's legacy of Beyond Words, a Blue Ridge Mountains book-and-gift shop.
Trey Dalton, sexy CPA with a heart of gold and backbone of steel, wants nothing more than to return to his home in sunny Florida. But he made a death-bed promise to help Abby succeed... whatever it takes.
Conflict and sexual tension intensify as they wrangle over the shop and deal with Abby's quirky best friend and the incorrigible resident parrot. Abby's sworn to trust no man, but Trey has her tangled up worse than knotted fishing line. If she can't overcome her insecurities before he unravels her finances and leaves town forever, her precious independence will cost her a love Beyond Words.
I loved Beyond Words for so many reasons. First... it brought back memories of my college years. I went to school in a little mountain college town in North Carolina... right off the Blue Ridge Parkway. I could immediately picture Beyond Words being one of my very favorite places to go on Main Street. I could perfectly imagine Abby getting the shop ready for it's grand re-opening day before the beautiful autumn colors of the mountains brought in all of the mountain tourists... right after the college students all settled in to classes. I would have loved to have gotten a job working with Abby in her shop. The whole little book shop with locally made gifts just has such appeal to me. It's kind of a wonder to me that I never actually did work in a book shop or library.
I loved Abby's character. Honestly, just everything about her. She was just so real. Her independence, her insecurities, her love for her aunt, her relationship with her best friend, her reactions to Trey. Each bit of her made me love her more. I have to say I especially enjoyed Abby's reaction and the relationship development between Abby and Trey. Having never met, and being forced together after their aunt's passing was anything but easy. Everything about them was at odds. It really just made it all the more fun to read!
About the author:
Diane O’Key can’t ever remember not reading—or writing, for that matter. By the end of eighth grade, she’d written numerous poems and short stories and won an award for having read over 500 books grades 1 through 8. Her lifelong love of storytelling, classical literature, and history—inspired by incredible and demanding teachers—propelled her into a 22-year secondary language arts teaching career, in which her students and colleagues immeasurably enriched her life...though one of her great points of pride—and greatest fears—is that they remember her as OCD about grammar, spelling, and syntax.... Raised on the Jersey Shore, she discovered a deep love of theater (for which she won several awards) and gymnastics in high school. Aided by scholarships and loans, she worked her way through Georgian Court University, and upon graduation with honors and 42 English literature credits, taught high school in Pt. Pleasant and Pt. Pleasant Beach.
Then, she and her high-school sweetheart, now husband, moved to Southwest Florida, where she continued to teach. Married for 40 years, she and her better-half, a retired firefighter, have one grown son, a talented airbrush artist, and divide their time between we-love-winters-in Florida (though they’re there—at least for now—most of the year) and their beloved South Carolina Upstate lake home as often as they can get away.
Her interests include making custom jewelry and bookmarks, snow skiing, baking, and anything to do with the water. A member of SW Florida Romance Writers and RWA for eighteen years, she has two wonderful, multi-published authors as critique partners: the self-dubbed Three Musketeers. Diane writes medieval historical romance, contemporary romance, and romantic suspense.
Writing as she does “in the mist,” without absolute direction or outlines, is both a challenge and a joy. She delights in those moments when the characters pop full-blown into her head, carrying on a conversation. As that pop is rarely the first chapter, however, the struggle begins to write from that point-first backward, then forward. Keeps her awake at night...and life interesting.