Approximate word count: 45-50,000
Availability Kindle: YES Nook: YES DTB: YES
Donna Clayton is the pen name for Donna Fasano. She has written over thirty novels under her own name and the Donna Clayton pen name. The most recent is The Merry-Go-Round, as Donna Fasano. Mountain Laurel is the first of several books in Fasano/Clayton’s backlist that have gone out of print, which she is updating and re-releasing as eBooks. The mother of two grown sons, Donna lives with her husband and two dogs, Jake and Roo. For more visit the authors website.
If Laurel Morgan has a fault it’s that she’s too responsible. Taking care of the family business and acting as an extra parent to her younger sister Ginny has left Laurel feeling trapped. She regrets not having the chance to attend college and hasn’t had a date since her Senior Prom. Now her rebellious sister appears headed down the wrong path. Laurel hopes a mountain vacation will be the chance to reconnect with her sister and change the direction Ginny’s life is taking.
The story takes place almost entirely in a remote mountain area with one small town nearby. Clayton does an excellent job in depicting the differences between small town and city life as well as the culture shock a city dweller might experience visiting such a place.
The main characters, Laurel, Ginny, and Michael are all likeable with very different and distinct personalities. Laurel’s seriousness is continually getting her in trouble as she misinterprets the intentions of others and provides plenty of laughs while doing so. Ginny’s happy-go-lucky attitude provides an excellent counterpoint to Laurel. Michael, the local forest ranger, knows he’s attracted to Laurel, but feels like everything he does to demonstrate this backfires. You’ll vicariously experience a wide range of emotions from the sorrow of dealing with family tragedies to the joy of new love as these three attempt to work through their differences.
This book was first released on Silhouette Romance (a Harlequin imprint) twenty years ago. The author updated it slightly so it would feel contemporary and modified the language to insure it was appropriate for younger readers (15 and up) for this eBook only re-release.
The version I read was a pre-release copy formatted for the Kindle. It was still being verified and edited for typos introduced in the conversion and updating process. Despite this there were very few issues I saw, all of which the author was aware of and should have fixed prior to the release.
Rating: **** 4 Stars