Most of you know I enjoy the novels of Debbie Macomber. They are what we used to call “good clean fun” novels. I subscribe to her newsletter so I’m always up-to-date on what she’s doing. Actually, I’m one of Debbie’s Angels. (Are you impressed?) Debbie does all sorts of interesting things besides write novels. She’s a master knitter, has written knitting patterns and books, and sponsors knitting charities. She’s also a good cook and is coming to Santa Rosa (a neighboring town) September 14th to judge an heirloom tomato contest. I’m really looking forward to that event.
Recently Debbie hosted a short novella contest. The winning story is included in a reissue of Family Affair. The winning story, The Bet by Darlene Panzera, is on a blog tour with TLC Books.
I was pretty sure Debbie would find a winning story that would also be a “good clean fun” story. It is fun. It’s a lighthearted story featuring Jenny, a young woman who’s about to lose her Washington state ranch. It’s about to be foreclosed unless she can come up with the money. Most of the locals in her small town are betting she will choose a local man to marry as a solution. But, Jenny is not interested in marriage.
And then, along comes a tall, handsome stranger with a serious bet: He bets $10,000 that Jenny will marry him in five weeks. If she can resist, she’ll have the money she needs. If Nick, the stranger, can manage to marry Jenny, he’ll have the ranch land he is so eager to get.
Don’t you love the set-up for this story? Well, of course, everything is not as clear as the basic plot suggests. Nick really is a nice guy and Jenny isn’t all money-hungry. If you are a romance lover, you’ll love the ups, downs, and surprises of this romance. Darlene Panzera might be a new author, but she is a solid storyteller. I’m going to watch closely for what she gives us in the future. I’m already a fan. Maybe I can become a Darlene Angel.
Thanks to TLC Book Tours for letting me participate in this one. Thanks also to the publisher, Avon Books, for my review copy. To see the other stops on the tour, visit the schedule here: The Bet at TLC Book Tours.