Genre: contemporary romance
Cover: makes me smile
Chicago socialite Amanda Delmar thought spending the summer in Cuttersville - Ohio's most haunted town - would be a hoot, until dear old Dad cut her off. Now Amanda has to do the unthinkable and get... A JOB.
Luckily the good folks of Cuttersville will always help someone in need. Even the ghost in Amanda’s cottage is pelting her with pennies. Farmer Danny Tucker would be more amused by Amanda’s attempts to hold down a job if he weren't so turned on by the skinny, bronzed blonde. A simple man with simple needs, Danny knows that courting Amanda would be anything but. Besides, another girl has turned Danny’s head: an eight year old daughter he never knew he had. One who takes quite a shine to Amanda and her couture-clad poodle…
Hiring Amanda to baby-sit his baby girl may not be the smartest thing Danny has ever done. But seeing how she brings a smile to his shy daughter's face makes it all worthwhile. Now all Danny has to figure out is how to keep Amanda at arm's length, when she has already wriggled her way into his heart…
Yes, I have been bad, I have read out of order. But I don’t have the first book yet, and I really wanted to read this one. And lucky for me, I had no trouble with it at all. All the characters I should already know are briefly explained, and the story just flowed.
Amanda Delmar is a spoiled little princess, and when she followed her ex-boyfriend to Cuttersville, Ohio, where he found his current wife, she thought it would be fun to stay for a bit and explore small town life. When she needs more money for a nice manicure, she calls daddy and asks him for some money. After all, that is what he does. But to her surprise, he tells her there will be no more money, at all. She will have to start living on her own. This sure is a nasty surprise, as he never wanted her to do something before with her life, and always gave her everything she could have possibly wanted. With her mother away somewhere at an expensive spa, Amanda has to make a decision. Borrow money from one of her friends and go back home to Chicago, or stay here and find a job. With only 76 dollars left, that money will be gone quickly. So, getting a job and some groceries are the first things on her calendar.
In the meanwhile, Danny Tucker’s life is changing forever. A strange man suddenly drops an 8 year old dirty girl on his doorstep, telling him he is the father. And after some deep thinking Danny knows it to be true, that one summer that he and his girlfriend and later his wife had broken up, he lost his virginity to an out of town girl. She never told him she was pregnant, or contacted him for money, but she did put his name on the birth certificate. Danny has no idea what to do with a little girl, but she is his, and he will keep her and love her and take care of her. But first, he needs to buy her stuff as her clothes are dirty, threadbare and too small for her. And as his mother is not home today, he will ask his ex-wife Shelby to help him out. But Shelby has no time, and so he gets stuck with Amanda. Danny is very much attracted to Amanda, but he knows she is not for him. He is just a simple farmer, and she is a rich society girl. She will go back to her old life as soon as she gets bored, he knows that. But Amanda is one hell of a shopper, and even having never before set foot in a Wall Mart or has to shop with a budget, she is good at it. She even knows how to deal with Piper. Her stepfather Mark used to say that she was not worth spending even two dollars on, and now she is going to get all new clothes and a bedroom and stuff?
Danny is horrified with the way his daughter has been treated all her life. Why didn’t her mother call him or something? He would have loved and cherished Piper. And so would his parents.
Danny tells Amanda about a job at the local hairdresser, perhaps that is something for her if she is serious about getting a job? But Amanda can’t hold it for long, and soon she is out on the streets again. In the mean time, Piper doesn’t want to be separated from Danny for even a minute, and she follows him around on the farm. But she can’t keep doing that, when he is working heavy equipment, or at his second job at the construction firm, he needs someone to keep an eye on her. And Piper does not really like his steamroller of a mother. She does want Amanda though, and Danny sets out to ask her. It will be only for a few weeks, until school starts. And she doesn’t have to live with them. She will have to do some light housekeeping, but her main job is to play with Piper. Amanda agrees, and when her father calls her, to check up on her, he is horrified that she is taking care of a little girl. She can’t even take care of herself! Hurt, Amanda ends the call, but her father wants her to come back home to Chicago, where he will find her a job with one of his friends. Amanda really doesn’t want to do that, she is not interested in a rich husband looking for a new wife. As most of her father’s friends are. She likes Danny, a lot, but he does his best to keep her at a distance. Does he even like her?
Danny’s mother is afraid that Danny is falling for that rich bimbo, and warns him about Amanda. Which only puts Danny’s hackles up of course. Amanda is a nice girl, and she might be rich, but she does a good job of looking after Piper. And so Willie has to give a little if she wants to bond with her granddaughter. And to her surprise, she actually likes Amanda. But what will Amanda decide, when her father comes to take her home himself?
I very much enjoyed this story and I did not expect to like Amanda that much. The spoiled little princess is actually a very practical woman, and she is not hesitant to get her hands or clothes dirty. She just goes for it, and keeps trying. Of course she has never dusted or done the dishes in her life, but she is game. And Danny admires her for it. She even risks herself to save her little poodle from a hawk. Danny soon falls for her, but can he ask her to stay? He has nothing to offer her, but a lot of hard work on the farm, and his love. And his daughter, who clearly loves her as well.
This book by Erin McCarthy is a fun and fast read, and I enjoyed every page of it. I liked the characters, her sense of humor, and everything that happened. Of course my heart bled a little for Piper, but she found a loving family at last, and she will learn that it is true, and that they won’t leave her.
I do recommend it if you are in the mood for a fun contemporary romance (with a tiny bit of ghosts) that you can read as a stand alone. But I think, like I do, you want to read the rest of the series as well.
© 2013 Reviews by Aurian