Format Read: e-book provided by Novel Sidekick courtesy of Author for Review
Length: 111 Pages
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Holloway Book II
Release Date: October 22, 2012
Publisher: Carina Press Publishing
Formats Available: eBook, Kindle, Nook
Purchasing Info: Publisher, Author’s Website, Goodreads, Kindle, Nook
Cassidy Clarke once climbed the world’s highest mountains, but after an unexpected illness ends her career she’s back in her hometown, broke and hoping for a little luck. But the townsfolk aren’t exactly putting out a welcome mat for the woman who once snubbed them in the media, despite her apologies now.
Mitch Anders knows someone has set up camp on the grounds of his plant nursery, and he’s surprised to find his sexy high school crush ducking questions about where she’s staying. Though he’s sworn to stop cleaning up other people’s messes, Mitch offers Cassidy a job and a place to stay–his place. Bed-sharing optional, but definitely welcome.
Out of options and too attracted to Mitch to keep things platonic, Cassidy says yes to his offer. She wants to get back on her feet financially and start a new career. She never expects to suffer a different kind of fall, one that has her believing Mitch just might bring her something bigger and better than luck.
The eight-thousanders are the 14 independent mountains on Earth that are more than 8,000 metres (26,247 ft) high above sea level. They are all located in the Himalayan and Karakoram mountain ranges in Asia.
There is a misnomer out there amongst literary types that the romance genre is nothing but tripe for women and certainly the majority of us will and do cry foul! While, yes, we like to get lost in a good, well constructed romance where the protagonists work through conflict to find their HEA, we are also discerning as to the quality of the work. In addition, we learn stuff, as was the case for me with Lean on Me, ergo my reason for citing the Wikipedia encyclopedic definition of the eight-thousanders. I had no idea these mountain ranges had a cumulative name or that people actually set goals to climb all 14…Yikes!
Heroine Cassidy’s dream was to one day be the first American woman to climb eight-thousanders, a goal that required “dedication, years of training, even more time paying her dues and endless rounds of begging for sponsorships to cover the costs.” She reached the summit of three of the mountains on her list before health issues intervened requiring her to give-up her aspirations. To add insult to injury, thanks to some shady business dealings she has lost everything and basically has the clothes on her back, what she carries in her duffel and a tent, which she has been living in. Desperation has driven Cassidy back to her home in Holloway, West Virginia a small town full of gossips that are none too happy with their famous hometown girl. Why? When she reached the Base Camp at the culmination of a grueling Mt. Everest climb she dissed the town during an interview and it made international news.
Hero Mitch is a former star athlete turned plant nursery owner and manager who had a crush on Cassidy in high school and followed her career over the years. He zeros in on the town golden girl turned pariah quickly when he learns she is back and makes no bones about the fact he intends to date her. Cassidy is initially reluctant to become involved with Mitch but when he deflects some of the more malicious nonsense that goes on with many of the meaner town’s inhabitants and steps in to rescue her from starving and sleeping on the street she warms up to him. Once the lovely, misunderstood Cassidy becomes his roommate one thing eventually leads to another. There is plenty of sexual tension simmering between Mitch and Cassidy and the sensuality is very light. There is however, a very poisonous atmosphere in this town and these two struggle through significant conflicts, moreover there are issues surrounding Cassidy’s family home and her step father. In addition, Mitch has his own relationship issues.
At first I found Cassidy somewhat flighty with a tendency to speak and act without thought, but considering her predicament and the losses she suffered I did come to understand her. Also, the truth behind many of the innuendos and hateful accusations the townspeople spew does come out leading to some crow eating. While I got that Mitch was acting purely on sexual attraction where Cassidy was concerned I did struggle with the immediacy of his decision to date her. I understood he had a thing for her in high school but they had not seen each other for a decade and a lot of water had gushed over the dam since. That said, Mitch does show gallantry in helping Cassidy out of a very tight spot. I also liked the moral of how cruel, exaggerated gossip can have destructive effects on a person’s life. Lean on Me was a quick enjoyable read and I liked HelenKay Dimon’s voice, she offers readers plenty of humor and a sweet love story that has a two-pronged happy ending.
I give Lean On Me 3 1/2 Stars
***FTC Disclaimer: Most books reviewed on this site have been provided free of charge by the publisher, author or publicist. Some books we have purchased with our own money and will be noted as such. Any links to places to purchase books are provided as a convenience, and do not serve as an endorsement by this blog. All reviews are the true and honest opinion of the blogger reviewing the book. The method of acquiring the book does not have a bearing on the content of the review.