Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Blog Tour | "Pressed Pennies" by Steven Manchester

Pressed Pennies by Steven Manchester
Contemporary Romance published May 13, 2014
The Story Plant
Author's website  |  Goodreads  |  Buy the Book on Amazon

Synopsis from Goodreads:
Rick and Abby grew up together, became best friends, and ultimately fell in love. Circumstance tore them apart in their early teens, though, and they went on to lives less idyllic than they dreamed about in those early days. Rick has had a very successful career, but his marriage flat-lined. Abby has a magical daughter, Paige, but Paige's father nearly destroyed Abby's spirit.

Now fate has thrown Rick and Abby together again. In their early thirties, they are more world-weary than they were as kids. But their relationship still shimmers, and they're hungry to make up for lost time. However, Paige, now nine, is not nearly as enthusiastic. She's very protective of the life she's made with her mother and not open to the duo becoming a trio. Meanwhile, Rick has very little experience dealing with kids and doesn't know how to handle Paige. This leaves Abby caught between the two people who matter the most to her. What happens when the life you've dreamed of remains just inches from your grasp?

PRESSED PENNIES is a nuanced, intensely romantic, deeply heartfelt story of love it its many incarnations, relationships in their many guises, and family in its many meanings. It is the most accomplished and moving novel yet from a truly great storyteller of the heart.
My Thoughts...
I think I have read all of Steven's books now and this is definitely my favorite of all of them.  This is a romance, but like all of Steven's other work there is something deeper there than just what is on the surface.  Abby and her daughter Paige are moving to a new town to "start over".  Abby has made Paige a priority and is always stressing to her that it's just the two of them and in a way Abby is making what is about to happen even harder on both of them.

Abby is recently divorced from a verbally abusive man and she wants to make a better life for her daughter.  Rick is also recently divorced, he's been in a loveless marriage for years and finally decides he's had enough.  Rick and Abby were childhood friends and just happen to re-connect at a backyard party of mutual friends.  They are both  extremely happy to see one another and to catch up and before long that connection they had as teenagers has struck a spark and they want to spend more and more time together.  The problem is that Paige isn't ready for there to be more than just she and Abby.  She loves her dad and counts on him for more than he is willing to give her.  He is consistently letting her down and all those times he does, Rick is stepping in trying to be there for her.  She is not at a place where she is ready to allow her mom to be happy with anyone.

This story hit home for me because I remember that feeling when my mother started to date again.  I connected with Paige to a certain degree.  The difference was that Rick was a nice guy and if Paige had stopped to think about the goodness he was contributing to each of their lives she wouldn't have needed to make them all so miserable for so long.  I get that she was young, but at the same time, this book spans the course of several years and she was still so stubborn!  

I loved this story.  I loved that it was so real and that the story wasn't just another romance.  I enjoy all of Steven's books because there is always something good just under the surface of the story.  They only think I didn't like was the inner thoughts of the characters and I think this is something that I have pointed out in other stories.  To me they are just a little more telling than I need.  

If you are looking for a good clean romance then I highly recommend this book!

XOXO, Shelly

*Disclaimer: I was provided with a copy of this book courtesy of the publisher in exchange for my honest review.*

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