Wednesday, January 22, 2014

ARC Review: Love on Mimosa Lane by Anne DeStefano

Love on Mimosa Lane
Author: Anne DeStefano
Series: A Seasons of the Heart Novel (Book 3)
Publication: Montlake Romance (January 21, 2014)

Description: Law Beaumont and Kristen Hemmings have watched each other from a distance for years. But Law, a bartender with a bad-boy past, and Kristen, an assistant principal devoted to helping her community, couldn't seem more different. When they unite to mentor a young foster child and to help Law’s troubled daughter through the aftermath of her parents’ ugly divorce, their attraction deepens. They face the undeniable connection between them, and a whirlwind of challenges they can only conquer together.

A stirring love story and a candid look at the complexities of divorce, substance abuse, and our country’s foster care system, Love on Mimosa Lane is a love song to an entire community, and a novel about the power of family—the family you've been given, the one you've chosen, and the one that can lift you up, even when the world is tearing you down.

My Thoughts: This was a very unconventional romance. Every character was messed up and from a family that was abusive or not supportive. The main characters are Law Beaumont and Kristen Hemmings. Law is an alcoholic, an ex-con, in the midst of an acrimonious divorce and the devoted father to eight-year-old Chloe. His ex-wife Libby is doing all she can to turn Chloe and the community against Law while hiding her own alcoholism. She doesn't hesitate to create all sorts of public, messy confrontations.

Kristen is the Associate Principal at Chloe's elementary school. She has had an interest in Law since she first saw him. But she kept her distance both because he was married and because she didn't have in faith in love since her own family was distant.

However, for me, the main focus of this story was Fin who was an eight-year-old foster child who had been in the system since his drug addicted mother died when he was five. He has shifted from foster home to foster home and has not trusted anyone enough to try to fit in. Kristen has learned that he loves soccer and so she has approached Law, who is a soccer coach, to try to get him involved. Law is also trying to get his daughter to play soccer again to despite her mother's advocating for cheerleading and hanging out with the third grade mean girls.

Chloe's plight - being torn between her mother and her father - was also a large part of this story. Her desire for her family to be normal and for her parents to stop fighting was very realistic. She was trying to do what her mother wanted to try to keep her mother from being so angry. She is also covering up her mother's drinking.

Between the acrimonious divorce and Libby's outbursts, alcoholism, and various things the kids are going through, the romance definitely took the back seat in this story. Additionally, the writing style which was heavy with everyone's thoughts and feelings and light on dialog made this one different than most of the romances I read.

Readers who like angst will like this one.

Favorite Quote:
Her confidence in them was still shaky. She almost wished Libby would come back and give her another excuse to give up. She didn't say that to Law. How did she tell him that maybe she was the one who was too weak and afraid to see this through.
I got this eARC from Montlake Romance. You can buy your copy here.

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