Judith D Collins
By Joanne Demaio
Publisher: CreateSpace Publishing
Publication date: 3/4/2014
My Rating: 5 Stars
New York Times bestselling author Joanne DeMaio returns to small-town New England in this compelling love story where truth is veiled by secrets.
Vintage bridal shop owner Amy Trewist thinks she'll never recover her quiet life at her beloved farmhouse on an old country road. Not after her two-year-old daughter Grace is kidnapped in an elaborate crime. On one clear morning, in mere minutes, Grace is gone and Amy's world spins into a heartbreaking new place.
George Carbone often spends easy time with his brother. Whether at a ballgame or taking a day trip, it's how they connect. Until one sunny day when the trip is to a bank parking lot and George is drawn into a crime he never sees coming. And into a stricken mother's life he cannot ignore.In a summer that simmers with the unsolved crime, George is haunted by a bankroll hidden behind kitchen tiles, by a brother who dragged him into this, and by a father who instilled in him a conscience.
A conscience challenged when a young child and beautiful woman crossed paths with him and unexpectedly took hold of his heart.Set among the red barns, lush cornfields and sparkling wishing fountain of Addison, Connecticut, True Blend is a captivating novel that steals your heart and does not let go. Because like the lace wedding gowns hanging on Amy's clothesline, waltzing in the summer breeze, love and secrets twist and spin together in their own mesmerizing dance.
Joanne DeMaio, is at the top of her game with “True Blend”! Having read all her books (which I highly recommend, as enjoyed them all), “True Blend”, is much more than a sweet, romance, feel -good book in an idyllic setting, to curl up with.
True Blend is indeed an unexpected love story set in a fictional town of Addison, Connecticut (great front cover) to draw you in; However, more importantly a suspenseful, thrilling, compelling page-turner, keeping you on the edge of your seat, full of emotions, choices, and intensity, as DeMaio, so brilliantly creates the background of her characters, the setup, interjects raw emotions, feelings, and careful plot planning of this thought provoking novel. (making you read well into the night, to see what is coming next).
There is so much to this book, from the dynamic sensitive relationship with George/Nate/Father. You feel as though you know the characters and are stepping into the pages of their hearts and lives.
The references to a card game (Nate/George) as it parallels to their life. Nate’s risk taking, raising the stakes, house of cards, playing a hand, showing your hand, keeping the cards close to the belt; guilt, and a disastrous and meditated plan he has developed for his brother George, allowing nothing to stand in his way.
George, a man who sacrificed his dreams of professional baseball for his family, who kept his father’s butcher shop (The Main Course) running, the business man, the stable one-who lives alone and never married. He plays it safe until he is thrown into an uncontrollable circumstance of choosing between his brother and the safety of a beautiful young woman and her daughter, with only seconds to decide.
The one point, Nate had not planned on when concocting this heist, was George falling in love with the victims they hold hostage - Amy and her daughter Grace. As fate would have it, Amy, a recent widow leading a quiet life in her beautiful farmhouse, with her almost three year old daughter Grace, owner of a vintage bridal shop happens to be at the bank (wrong place and wrong time), which will forever chance her life.
George also happens to be in the car with Nate on his way to the casino when he was thrown into a scene, which would change the course of his life, with only seconds to decide which path to choose and the consequences. When these two worlds collide, what course will it take and is there ever a perfect crime?
Amy’s quite peaceful life turns into a daily nightmare with threats, stalking, flashbacks, anxiety, fear and PTSD for this young mother and her daughter, who cannot speak after the kidnapping. Will her life ever be the same? Can she remember each detail of the man who took her daughter? One second changed her life, her daughter, as well as George’s future.
True Blend would be ideal for book clubs and book discussions. The relationship between Nate/George/Father is very complex. The what ifs of the day of the heist, what could George have done differently, could he have stopped the hostage and robbery, would it have changed the outcome, and if so how, could he have told Amy earlier on, and Amy’s past relationship with her daughter and the loss of her husband Mark, Amy’s relationship with her parents, and her best friend Celia.
For those fans of Whole Latte Life, you will enjoy the mentions of quaint coffee house. A beautiful summer of two people joined together by tragedy, nature and force. Can their love survive, as they learn to trust one another where secrets are unveiled in this small town New England setting, for a true blending of souls and lives? I highly recommend!