Avery Broussard was savoring her long dormant optimism. It was the first anniversary of her husband's death, and she was finally going to buy the dress boutique from her former mother-in-law. After a year of saving, the deal was nearly done. Avery was about to get her life back. But every deal in Samford, Louisiana, can change at the whim of a Broussard. After being unceremoniously ejected from the very boutique she planned to buy--the boutique she herself had rescued from ruin--she becomes a woman without a future...suddenly at war with her late husband's family.
When carpenter T. J. Aillet begins working for the Broussards doing manual labor, he overhears enough to know that Avery is being victimized. Soon enough T. J. is lassoed in the squabble by his family connections, his good heart, and the undeniable attraction he feels toward Avery.
This story takes place in the town of Samford, a fictional town just outside Shreveport. I live less than two hours from Shreveport so I felt an instant connection with this story and with all the characters. Judy Christie does an amazing job of portraying Southern Society, and all the inside secrets and rules that are associated with such.
I fell in love with Avery immediately. From the moment we meet her, she is one of those characters that grabs your heart and you begin to root for her. She has had a very rough year following the death of her husband, but as this story unfolds we learn that her marriage wasn't all that society would want us to believe. I loved that Avery is much smarter and tougher than she is portrayed at the beginning of the story. She is a fighter and I love her for it.
T.J. is another one of those characters that you instantly fall in love with and hope good things come for him. He seems like a simple handyman just trying to make a buck. We find out quickly that he is also entangled in this Southern Society puzzle that keeps unfolding. He has also had a tough life and has learned life's lessons the hard way. He has a family that drives him crazy, but he still has a heart of gold. The more we learn about T.J., the more I feel in love with him as well.
This story has all kinds of twists and turns in it. People are connected in surprising ways, and friendships are formed from the most unlikeliest of people. Watching all these people come together creates happiness and fun. The people in this story all rely on each other, whether they realize it or not.
I truly did not want this story to end. This is the second book in a series and I am anxiously awaiting book three so I see where all the characters go next.