Monday, February 16, 2015

On Lavender Lane by JoAnn Ross


Shelter Bay #3
Madeline is a chef with two TV shows. She is out on a cooking tour for her cookware line when she finds out that her husband is starring in a sex video that is all over the internet. It seems he was cheating on her while he was in Las Vegas!
Her husband wants a divorce. She has comes home to Shelter Bay and her grandmother to recuperate. But she runs into her ex-boyfriend. The one that took her virginity and she found with a waitress right after. It broke her heart into pieces.
Lucas is in Shelter Bay because he recently got out of the Navy. He and his father were going to start rehabbing and flipping houses together. But his father died. Lucas is trying to get over it. He is happy to see Maddy again. He has never forgotten her. His best friend, Sax, says he needs to tell her the truth of what was really going on back then.
Lucas tells Maddy the truth. She is angry about it but she can understand why he thought he was doing the right thing at the time. She realizes how much she still loves him. He still loves her and tells her that he is going to marry her. But she is still hurting over what happened with her husband.
Maddy is at a turning point in her life. She is tired of the rat race and being Maxime's second. That is now over.
Her grandmother wants to open a restaurant in her house. Maddy is thinking about how to help and maybe working with her. Sofia hired Lucas to do the remodel. Are they going to be able to get through the remodel? Will Lucas convince Maddy to marry him and live happily ever after?

There was a secondary storyline featuring a woman, Stephanie/Phoebe that is staying in Shelter Bay in an abused women's shelter. Ethan is a farmer who supplies the town with fresh produce and free range meat and eggs. He is attracted to Phoebe and she to him although she is still married. Ethan was married with a son when they were killed in a car accident. He hasn't had any feelings for anyone until Phoebe. I can't wait to find out what happens with this couple.


From the author:
Sometimes the second time is the charm. . . After seeing enough of war, former Navy SEAL Lucas Chaffee is settling back into civilian life when he accepts a job refurbishing a farmhouse for an old friend, who plans to turn it into a culinary school. Celebrity TV chef Madeline Durand was badly shaken when her husband's illicit video went viral, so she jumps at the chance to reevaluate her life in Shelter Bay while helping her grandmother turn the family farm into a new business. Little does she know that the man who broke her heart year ago is already on the job.

Having Maddy leave Shelter Bay once, Lucas isn't about to let her get away this time. But rekindling their romance won't be easy, as she still hasn't forgiven him for a fateful night ten years ago. But Lucas is a man on a mission, and with the help of some Shelter Bay matchmakers, he plans to come up with a very special recipe of passion, patience, and perseverance to win her over. . .


Excerpt:
Madeline Durand was braising short ribs in an Omaha department store when her husband’s sex video went viral.

The day, which would go down as one of the worst in her life, hadn’t exactly begun on a high note. Her early-morning flight from New York was delayed for three hours because of a late-spring storm that had barreled into Nebraska, bringing with it tree-bending winds, snow, and ice.

Lots and lots of ice.

On the plus side, when she finally did arrive in Omaha, she was greeted by a sixty-something woman wearing a puffy down coat the same color as her weather-chapped cheeks, and a red knit hat pulled down over salt-and-pepper hair. Her down-to-earth, Midwestern friendliness gave Madeline hope that her luck may have taken a turn for the better.


“Hi, Chef Madeline! I’m Birdy Hinlemeir,” she said enthusiastically, pulling off a red-and-white-striped mitten and thrusting out her hand. “Head of the store’s special-events department. We’re all so excited about hosting your cooking demonstration today.”

“I’m happy to be here.” Which was the absolute truth. After holding her breath while the pilot landed in what appeared to be near whiteout conditions, Madeline was infinitely grateful to be back on solid ground.

“Sorry about the weather,” Birdy said as they walked out into air thick with swirling white flakes. “We tend to have four seasons here: almost winter, winter, still winter, and wow, this has gotta be the hottest summer ever!”

“I take it we’re still in winter.” Madeline sucked in a breath as a freezing mix of snow and sleet pelted her face.

“Yep. We don’t tend to get snow this late, but the weather’s been really strange the past couple years. I guess Mother Nature had one more storm up her sleeve.”

“You needn’t apologize. Fortunately, I won’t be cooking outdoors."

“Oh, the store will definitely be warm enough,” the older woman assured her. “Your dish for the finished part of the demonstration arrived this morning, all packed in dry ice, so my assistant’s heating it up for you.”

“I appreciate that.” Short ribs took three hours in the oven, so, following Julia Child’s motto that a few simple steps ahead of time could make all the difference in the end, Madeline had preprepared a dish to serve to the audience.

“Good thinking, going with beef, since we’re definitely a meat-and-potatoes crowd out here. It’s not that often we get a celebrity at the store—usually it’s just some local selling homemade jam or sausage—so we wanted to do it up right.”

“I appreciate the effort. But I’m not a celebrity. I just cook.”

“Well, to us you’re certainly a TV star. I’ve never missed an episode of Comfort Cooking, but your new show, Dinner at Home, got my family sitting down at the table together again.”

“That’s always lovely to hear,” Madeline said through teeth she’d clenched together to keep them from chattering.

“Of course, my own three kids have left the nest,” Birdy confided. “But my daughter got laid off from her management job at ConAgra. The same week, her cheating husband left her for the woman who claimed to be her best friend. Yah. Right. That’s a real good friend.” She shook her head in disgust. “Anyway, with money tight right now, she and her kids have moved in with me until she gets back on her feet.”

“I’m sorry about her marriage.”

“Oh, in the long run, it’s probably for the best. He was a no-good louse from the get-go. I tried to warn her, but what can you do?” She shrugged well-padded shoulders as she clicked a remote, causing a tomato-red SUV a few cars away in the lot to chirp. “They never had anything in common. Nothing like you and that sexy French chef you married. Is it true one of his ancestors cooked for Napoleon?”

“So they say.” Maxime had never been shy about mentioning that bit of family history.


Read more here.


Pages: 378
Published: 2012

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