By Jen Turano
Bethany House Publishers
353 Pages

Back Cover: When a shop girl with big dreams and a businessman on the rise strike an unusual bargain, neither is prepared for the drama that unfolds.

REVIEW: Miss Harriet Peabody has been given gowns to refashion in hopes of one day having her own shop. She desired to create fashions for the independent working woman – not the elite. She was on track with her plans until her employer asks her to deliver hats to a wealthy customer. This was an unusual request. Harriet tried to get out of it. She had plans to leave early because it was her birthday. Things get crazy when she dropped off the hats at Mr. Oliver Addleshaw’s house. After the fiasco ends with Miss Birmingham; Mr. Oliver has a plan that involves Harriet.

She inquires, “What exactly do you have in mind? I’ll give you 60 seconds to explain.”
“Don’t you think it would be more comfortable to discuss this in my nice, warm office?” Instead of standing out in the rain Oliver thought.

“You don’t have an office at the moment. Miss Birmingham turned it into a dressing room, and you’re down to forty seconds.”

“Very well, since you’re obviously intent on being unreasonable, I’ll explain while the two of us get completely drenched.”

“You’re obviously confusing me with Miss Birmingham. I’m never unreasonable.”
“In all fairness, Miss Peabody, I do hope that that little statement didn’t take further seconds off my allotted time.”

Harriet is quick witted and Mr. Oliver hasn’t met anyone quite like this young hat maker. I adored this story and these characters. I just finished reading, In Good Company, book two. I loved getting to know Millie Longfellow and learn more of Everett and Connie. But to see how Millie and Harriet got to know each other was delightful. Harriet Peabody didn’t let people push her around, nor did her Aunt Jane. Harriet had a level head and didn’t want to be involved in Oliver’s ridiculous plan – but since Miss Birmingham got her fired – she was all ears. She didn’t have many options. So against her better judgement she agreed to the proposition. Harriet soon finds her world turned upside down!

Oliver tries to avoid romantic entanglements; he’s more focused on gaining wealth. He finds himself intrigued with Harriet, her outlook on life and her independent spirit. It was refreshing for him to have a woman not obsessed about his wealth. I liked reading about his journey and watching him change and grow.

As their professional relationship progresses. Harriet and Oliver experience unexpected feelings for each other. Harriet worries her past with Aunt Jane will ruin Oliver’s reputation and business dealings. Oliver is surprised at how he feels lead to protect Harriet; it was a new feeling. He also desires to do the right thing for her sake.

This author masterfully creates hilarious situations and witty dialogue. I liked how all these characters evolved and interact with one another. Harriet and her secondary characters are a team. They had each other’s back. I also liked the fast pace of the story that had a dose of romance and drama. The author surprised me with a few twists and turns too. This novel was just as much fun as watching a Pink Panther movie. I laughed out loud in several parts. This was an amusing, fun read I couldn’t put down. I highly recommend this for your book club pick and/or just pure entertainment!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complementary copy of the book from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”.

Nora St Laurent
TBCN Where Book Fun Begins
The Book Club Network blog

Book Fun Magazine


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