Monday, March 2, 2015

*New Release* Fix You ~ Beck Anderson ~ Donna's Review ~

Adult Contemporary Romance 
New release from Gallery Books (Simon & Schuster) March 2015
Previously released by Omnific Publishing

In this modern-day Cinderella story with a charming twist, a young widow with two rambunctious sons falls for a gorgeous movie star. But can she handle life in the limelight?
When Kelly Reynolds’s husband died two years ago, he left her to raise their two young boys. She’s barely pieced herself back together and takes refuge in her routine, running her kids around town and running the trails near their Idaho home.

A chance encounter on a trail run brings famous actor Andy Pettigrew into her life. He’s clearly interested in her, but Kelly hates risk, and a love affair with Andrew is certainly tempting fate. She doesn’t fit into his Hollywood world. She doesn’t own a pair of Louboutins, and she couldn’t walk five steps in them if she did. Andrew oozes cool. She reeks of dork.

Despite this, they click. But Andrew struggles with the pressures of his fame, and Kelly’s hold on a so-called normal life is already tenuous. So as much as she wants to indulge the fantasy, she doesn’t know how either of them is supposed to cope with stalkerazzi and tweet-happy fans with camera phones. Especially when she and Andrew both have secrets that seem impossible to keep…

This is a re-publication of Fix You. I don't know how it differs from the 2013 release. My review pertains only to the 2015 release.

Kelly Reynolds is a 36 year old widow raising two young sons, Hunter and Beau. They live in Boise, IA. While the boys have adjusted to the death of their father 2 years ago, Kelly is still finding it difficult to really live life and be happy. 

Andy Pettigrew is 29 years old and an A-list, big box office, leading man who lives in LA. He knows something is missing in his life. Surrounded by so much phoniness and shallowness, he longs for a real connection.

When they meet in front of a coffee shop while Kelly is on a morning run, she doesn't realize who the kind, helpful Andrew really is. When they meet again, Kelly recognizes him and can't believe she is actually talking with a heart-throb actor. Andrew and Kelly begin a relationship which is idyllic when they are in Boise. When they are in LA and dealing with Andrew's star status, events seem to conspire against them. Kelly and Andrew do have their supporters: Hunter and Beau, her best friend Tessa, her parents, Andrew's bodyguard Tucker, and his agent Jeremy.

Between Kelly believing she is too old and boring, expectations of how Andrew should act and who he should be seen with in order to further his career, and Andrew's own demons, can they find their happily-ever-after?

This is a terrific story. It has characters with depth. Kelly and Andrew are both fighting against being engulfed by darkness but they are not dark and depressing. They have strength and integrity that make them real. Their relationship involves Hunter and Beau as integral pieces, not as merely an afterthought. The boys behave like normal, well behaved kids. They aren't perfect but they are respectful, fun-loving, mischievous, video game loving boys. Kelly's parents and Tessa are supportive and want her to be happy. They also worry about her but try not to meddle. The culture shock Kelly experiences due to Andrew's celebrity status is important to the story but Kelly is never portrayed as a country bumpkin with no idea how to act or dress. That was so refreshing. All of these things bring a richness and reality to Fix You that is lacking in some romances. Heck, it is often lacking in any genre. 

I don't know if Beck Anderson will ever revisit these characters but I hope she does. They still have so much to do, I think another book would be a wonderful gift to readers. That is just my opinion but I can hope, can't I? I definitely look forward to reading more books by this author when they come out. For now, I will have to make do with having only one more book to read: her second novel, The Jeweler. 

I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves a good story. It is so much more than just a romance.

5 Stars

Beck Anderson loves to write about love and its power to heal and grow people past their many imperfections. She is a firm believer in the phrase "mistakes are for learning" and uses it frequently to guide her in writing life and real life.

Beck balances (clumsily at best) writing novels and screenplays, working full-time as an educator, mothering two pre-teen males, loving one post-40 husband, and making time to walk the foothills of Boise, Idaho, with Stefano DiMera Delfino Anderson, the suavest Chihuahua north of the border.

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