Saturday, August 2, 2008

Review: Divorcing Dwayne

Summary: Francine Harper’s in the Pickville Springs County Jail facing felony assault charges. Her offense? She shot at her husband, Dwayne, and his lover, Carla, after catching them together— in the very bed her daddy had carved and given to Francine and Dwayne on their wedding day. Even though she hit the bed and missed the lovers, she soon learns she’s committed a felony, and the deputy district attorney—who’s never been fond of her since she jilted his brother—is determined to prosecute her to the fullest extent of the law. On the other hand, Dwayne is a local celebrity, a talented fiddle player with his own bluegrass band, the Rocky Bottom River Boys. Things are looking up for the band, and they have been selected to record the soundtrack for director Frederick Ford Gumbello’s latest film, Oh Mother, Oh Father, Where Art Thou? When Gumbello comes to town to meet the boys, he becomes enamored with the locale and stays to film the movie since Pickville Springs is the perfect setting for the film.

When Francine makes bail, aided by her best friend, Ray Anne Pickles, she discovers that the checking account she shares with Dwayne contains thirty thousand dollars she can’t account for, and she starts worrying about him. Strange things have been going on, and she still loves him. But she fears that he may have gotten involved with the local mob. Soon Francine finds herself in the arms of rising movie star Clay Carson, which is the last straw for Dwayne, who assaults Clay and disappears. When Dwayne can’t be found anywhere, Francine is suspected of foul play and is arrested for his suspected murder. But Francine is determined to find Dwayne, save him from the mob, and solve the mystery—with Ray Anne’s help, of course. In the interim, she discovers inner strengths and regains her dignity. Now the situation with Dwayne—that’s another story.
-- book jacket

I was in the mood for a light book so I picked up DIVORCING DWAYNE by J.L. Miles -- it had been sitting in my TBR pile for months. Based on the book's description, I thought it would be the perfect book to read while I sat on my deck and got a little sun. It was an extremely entertaining book, and it would have been an ideal summer book except that it has been entirely too hot here to sit outside for any length of time. Instead I had to settle reading it in my family room and pretend that I was outside enjoying the summer weather.

I can basically sum up this book in two words -- a HOOT! While I currently live in Central PA, I did grow up in the South so I definitely appreciated a lot of the Southern humor. In fact, I think I was laughing at the rate of a laugh a page (and that might be a conservative estimate.) I found this book to be hilarious; and I also enjoyed the storyline too! I read this book in less than 24 hours because I couldn't put it down!

This book has something for everyone. You can already tell that I thought the story was funny, but there was also romance, action, and suspense throughout the book's pages. Add to that a surprise ending, and I think most people would find something to like about this book.

I found myself loving the character of Francine and rooting for her throughout the entire story -- she was a terrific heroine. Even when times were tough for her and she was handed more than her fair share of lemons, she always made lemonade! The cast of Francine's family and friends were also extremely funny in their supporting roles. I especially liked her grandmother Nanny Lou -- she reminded me a little bit of Stephanie Plum's grandma if you're familiar with that series of books. To be quite honest, the story wasn't exactly an original formula -- it did bring to mind the Stephanie Plum books; but there was enough differences to make this book stand on its own.

DIVORCING DWAYNE is the first volume in a three book series featuring Francine and her family and friends. I enjoyed this one so much that I can't wait to read the next two books! It's a good thing that there is more of Francine to come because I found that I missed her when I finished the book. The plots of the next two books, DEAR DWAYNE and DATING DWAYNE, look like they pick up right where this book ended -- I can't wait!

In addition to the DWAYNE series, Ms. Miles has written two other books COLD ROCK RIVER and ROSEFLOWER CREEK which I would like to read too. These books appear to be of a more serious nature than DIVORCING DWAYNE, but the reviews that I've seen say that they are both worth a look. I thought Ms. Miles' writing was very good in this book, and I'm very anxious to see her writing style in a different genre.

This book isn't really a book club book, but it is a lot of fun. If you are looking for an entertaining, light book that will make you laugh, then look no further than DIVORCING DWAYNE!


Darlene said...

LOL. Awesome review-this book sounds great. I love books that can give me a good laugh like that once in a while. I'm going to go check this one out right away. Plus I like reading books that end up being a series.

On another note I wish it was warm enough here to be sitting outside reading. We've been having pretty cool weather. Somewhere inbetween would be wonderful.

photoquest said...

Glad i stopped by and saw this review. I haven't heard of this author or book. This is going on my wish list as i speak. Thanks for a wonderful review.

Cheryl said...

Great review! I really want to read this one.