Wallflower Blooming - Amy Rivers
Val Shakely is a list-maker. Daily routine. Check. Calm, quiet (but successful) business. Check. No drama. No excitement. Some might call it boring, but it’s precisely the way Val likes it. She loves her hometown of Cambria, nestled in the mountains of Colorado, and runs a fruitful PR firm. And that’s more than enough for Val. So what if she doesn’t have a social life? Then, her cousin Gwen decides to take on the local political bully, the Mayor, in head-to-head combat for the Mayoral seat and Val takes her company reluctantly, and against her better judgment, into the fray. The minute Val takes on Gwen’s campaign, the safe world that she has carefully constructed begins to unravel. She feels the pressure of the campaign and the personal attacks by Gwen’s opponent. And as if that wasn’t complicated enough, Val finds herself falling in love. Val’s desire to stay on the sidelines is put to the test and she’s forced to reexamine the life she’s built as she trudges toward a new and more exciting future.
If you are kind of overwhelmed with the holidays and don't really want to commit to a lengthy book, this is definitely a good option for you. Coming in at just under 200 pages, this book is a cute little PG romance set around local politics. I know, after the election this fall you are probably burnt out on politics, but this is features a hot mayoral race in small town Cambria, Colorado between Val Shakely's cousin Gwen and incumbent Roger Barton. Val reluctantly agrees to take charge of Gwen's media and marketing for her campaign and it throws Val into the uncomfortable waters of being in the public eye. Once thrust into the crowds of the local elite, Val meets elusive bachelor John Hatfield who almost immediately shows an interest in Val. The personal attacks and nitty gritty of a political campaign threaten to get the best of Val, but John does his best to hold her together even when attacks verge towards physical.
Overall? I'm rating this 3/5 stars. For me, it reads like an indie novel and I found some grammatical errors, more towards the end of the book. The romance is very PG, which makes it a great option for readers who don't want to hear about pulsing private parts. The political race gets contentious and we have a build up of the incumbent mayor having a real issue but when we find out what made him so vile and vicious? Total let down for me, I was hoping it was going to be a real revelation instead of what it was. I also found the relationship between Val and John kind of boring? But you need to keep in mind I like a fairly dirty romance so that's a preference of mine. Val is kind of an annoying character, she seemed kind of immature and overly anxious over minute details.But the book itself is a fast read with a predictable, happy ending.