Twisted Creek by Jodi Thomas
Published by Penguin
Publication Date: April 1st 2008
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Bad luck has been biting at Allie Daniel's heels all her life, so when she inherits a café in a small Texas lake community she's sure there's a catch. But Allie decides to move and brings her grandmother along, since the café gives Nana a chance to do what she loves best-cook. As Allie settles in, she soon discovers that she's not alone anymore-and that sometimes, the only cure for bad luck is gaining the courage to love.
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Lately I’ve been in the mood for straight contemps. No suspense, no paranormal, just straight up contemporary romance. I’d heard a lot of buzz around blogland for this book (Dev and Nath both loved it) and decided to give it a try. I’m happy to report it was just what I was looking for: A sweet contemporary romance set in a small town. I think fans of Robyn Carr’s Virgin River series will really like this one.
This story is written in alternating 1st and 3rd POV. At first I wasn’t sure it would work, but in the end I think the story would have suffered if it hadn’t been written that way.
Life has thrown Allie Danie’s some curve balls and she’s just about reached the end of her rope. When she’s notified that she’s inherited a house that doubles as a general store and cafe from her “uncle” Jackson, she’s skeptical, but figures there’s no harm in checking things out. What she finds is a run down house on an old lake surrounded by odd strangers, including a sexy drifter named Luke.
As she settles in to her new home, she finds herself coming to care for the odd collection of souls that have gathered around the lake. She also finds herself coming to care for Luke. But unbeknownst to her, Luke isn’t just a drifter who landed in town. He’s actually an FTA agent who’s taken a leave of absence to investigate the death of Allie’s “uncle”. He grew up around the lake and he’s suspicious of the way things went down with Jackson.
I really liked Allie. As the story progressed I enjoyed watching her grow and become confident in herself. Though she seems broken in the beginning, it isn’t long before we see the well of inner strength she’s kept hidden. Though it takes her awhile to open up, it isn’t long before she’s the backbone of the community. I enjoyed Luke’s character as well. He was reserved and quiet, afraid to open himself up, but unable to stop it from happening as he spent time with Allie. I love that he was quiet and didn’t say much, but you could still see the attachment forming between him and Allie.
I loved the secondary characters – all the odd little people who make the lake their home. As we came to know them, just like Allie, I began to care for them, to become invested in their lives. I truly felt like I was in Twisted Creek right along with them. Honestly, if I could talk my husband into it, I’d be tempted to head off to Texas in search of a Twisted Creek of my own.
The suspense plot worked really well with the romance and honestly didn’t detract from the overall romance, in my opinion. The story focussed on Allie and Luke as they learn to trust each other and open up to one another, the suspense plot was just window dressing to that. Not to say it wasn’t well done, because it was, but it wasn’t the main focus of the story.
Overall I loved it. The characters, the plot, the writing. All of it.
5 out of 5