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Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Review - For the Love of Hattie by Pat Dale

Title: For the Love of Hattie

Author: Pat Dale

Publisher: Red Rose Publishing

Buy For the Love of Hattie Here!

Rating: You Want to Read

Reviewed by: MarthaE

For ten years, Hattie McCall has turned a deaf ear on her dad's sage advice. And for all those years she's found herself in a self-imposed prison. Unwilling to admit the mistake that cost her the love of her life, she's cloistered herself in her teaching. Now, her dad has died and she must return home to run the family store. Which means she has to face Brad Trimble, the young man she'd spurned all those years before. The man she still longs for in the heart she can't hear.

This is a very sweet, enjoyable read with likable characters and an interesting plot line.

Hattie is a petite, lovely but independent, stubborn and formidable young woman. She has left her teaching position to return home to run her father’s mercantile after his death. The store is one of the last open businesses in the dying downtown of Leadburg. Her father had bought a beautiful plot of land where he planned to build a new store before his death, but he had not told Hattie of his plans. First she has to decide whether to build a new store or refurbish the existing store. Hattie’s dilemma is then increased when a large retailer comes into town offering to purchase the land and putting pressure on Hattie through the not so wonderful town Mayor.

Brad has loved Hattie since high school but lost her when he asked another girl to the prom after Hattie refused to go with him. He is resourceful, cheerful and responsible. He still lives with his mother who is very sweet character, if a bit meddling. Brad is the editor of the local weekly newspaper and good at research. Plus he had some knowledge of Hattie’s father’s plans. He wants to help Hattie with her decisions but Hattie thinks he has alternative motives or is interfering.

Hattie gets mixed messages from Brad’s behavior as he expresses caring for her but she sees him with his tall and shapely office assistant in questionable poses! I was rooting for Hattie’s negotiations with the bigwigs and appreciated Brad’s planning efforts even if he created more problems by not explaining to Hattie what he was doing. There is so much misconception, miscommunication and stubbornness between these two that I wanted to knock their heads together! There is some factual license taken with the business arrangements as sales of businesses are not concluded in 24 hours. Other than that, the story was realistic and I could shake my head at two people being so quick and stubborn that they got mired in conflict instead of seeing the love between them. This is a good, fun and easy read, especially if you like infuriating conflict with the romance!

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