Thrifty Means by Sharon Sobel

Title: Thrifty Means
Author: Sharon Sobel
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Publication Date: 2010
ISBN: 1-60154-682-3
Genre: Last Rose of Summer/Contemporary Romance
Length: 361 pages
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Heat Level: sensual
Reviewer: Alicia Croft
Date: 4/3/10

Single mom Ellie Gilmartin and successful writer Evan Zane’s lives were bound together one fateful night twenty years ago by the trauma of shared tragedy. When Evan returns to their Connecticut town to settle his aunt’s estate, the long dormant sparks flare again. Like many small towns, Eastfield harbors more than its share of secrets, and Evan enlists Ellie’s help finding out if his aunt’s death may have involved foul play.

Despite the downplayed element of suspense, this is a gentle story of two people finding the courage to take a chance on love and each other. The Connecticut countryside, town of Eastfield, and the charity thrifty shop, The Thrifty Means, where Ellie volunteers are so beautifully described they sometimes overshadow the plot and human characters. Minimal attention is paid to the question of whether someone in town is murdering elderly residents, and the answers to the plot questions are all wrapped up in a simple conversation in the last couple of pages.

The setting is vivid and the characters likeable. My main problem with this book was pacing. It took almost 200 pages to get to the meat of the plot. It would have been worth the sacrifice of some details to move the story along more quickly.

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