Remember the unkindness, dishonesty, and deception you display toward others…don’t be shocked when it comes back to bite you. – Sarah Moore
Some people must have no other job than to make others miserable and unhappy. But that’s alright…. I’ve heard that Karma pays well. – Unknown
All cruelty springs from weakness. – Lucius Annaeus Seneca
When I first started Undone by Shannon Richard the word that came to mind was “charming.” Come on, the first person you meet is a woman named Bethelda Grimshaw? And of course, when the first thing you learn about Bethelda Grimshaw is that she, “had a malevolent stench radiating off her, kind of like road kill in ninety-degree weather.” Well, you know it is going to be a book worth reading. Well, at least I knew it was a book I would find worth reading.
And it didn’t let me down. There is a lot of funny in the book. But there is a lot of plain old nastiness too. The kind of nastiness that makes me deeply and abidingly ashamed of being originally from the South. And for being female, when another of my sex can be “a snot-nosed wench. . . (an) evil, mean-spirited, vindictive, horrible human being.” And believe me, Bethelda Grimshaw is all that and more. But she isn’t the only one, and some of the fellas in the town of Mirabelle, Florida are even worse. And poor Paige Morrison just walked right into the middle of it.
Paige’s parents retired and moved from their home in Philadelphia to the ‘burg’ of Mirabelle where they have made themselves a cozy little spot on the Gulf coast. Paige stayed behind with her job, her friends, her apartment and her boyfriend, and was as content with her life as could be. However, the loss of all that, thorough no fault of her own, landed her in Mirabelle with her parents – a place where the whole town seems intent on being as nasty and cruel to her as possible. Well, she is beautiful, tall, long-legged, and wears bright clothes, which is sure to bring out the nasty in a bunch of stuck-up, vicious, middle aged women with too much time and little else to do but gossip and name call. And gossip they do, in the most vicious and despicable manner possible. Wow. Jealous much?
The whole track of Paige’s life changes when, after being abused by yet another nasty female, she breaks down on the side of the road. Walking to the local bait shop for help, she manages to be insulted yet again, break a bottle of doe urine (can we all say EUU??) and meet the local hot mechanic, where much insulting and yelling occurs. Not bad for a day’s work for a bohemian chick with an attitude and a broken heart.
The romance portion of the book is great. It isn’t a “let’s jump into bed in the first five minutes after we meet” like so many of the romance books are today. Instead, the romance takes it’s time to develop, and is lovingly handled by the author. But that isn’t really what I liked about the book in and of itself. Instead, I loved Paige herself, as well as her parents and the small group of friends Paige gathers around her. The story is beautifully done in the relationships that she builds, and the personalities that they display. Hey, middle-aged twins called Pinky and Panky can’t help but be a hoot, right? And the characters you absolutely, positively, without any possibility of redemption hate in the book are the kind you want to force to strip naked and march down the middle of Main Street with signs on their heads saying, “I am a miserable bitch with a twisted, evil, blackened soul and deserve to be alternately humiliated and ignored for the rest of my worthless life.” At least, that is how I felt. (I know, I know, I should feel sorry for the old bitches, but hey, I just don’t!) Believe me, when you meet Bethelda and her cronies, you will have as much fun wanting to poke them with sharp sticks as I did!
Overall, there are laughs as well as terrible pain in the book – but you can depend upon your HEA, and it is so very much worth the trip getting there.
Now, where is my sharp stick? I want to go poke old Mrs. Forns in the eye with it!
I received this book from Netgalley in return for an honest review. All opinions are my own. I got a huge kick out of the book, and will be watching for more of Ms. Richard’s work.