Princess, Southern belle, and spoiled-rotten social climber Searcy Roberts swore on a stack of Bibles she'd never return home to Fairhope, Alabama. After marrying her high school sweetheart and moving to Atlanta, Searcy embraces big-city life - Carrie Bradshaw style. But now, Searcy has a teeny, tiny problem. Her husband's had a mid-life crisis. He's quit his job, cancelled her credit cards, and left her for another man. Searcy returns to Fairhope, ready to lick her wounds. But when her mother falls ill, she is thrust into managing the family business; only to discover the beloved bakery is in danger of closing its doors forever. Enlisting the help of the adorable bike store owner next door, an array of well-heeled customers, and her soon-to-be ex-husband, Searcy hatches the plan of the century to save Pie Girls.
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Pie Girls written by Lauren Clark is a cute refreshing lite romance. Lauren’s characters are brought to life in this “Growing up after Divorce” story. Her main character Searcy Roberts has it all. A handsome, smart, creative advertising wizard of a husband, Alton. Her high school sweetheart. Searcy coming from the other side of town was not a popular girl until she started to date her now husband. After college and married. They are living in the fast pace town of Atlanta for the past 10 years. Where she has a personal shopper, all the right friends and social life. But, something doesn’t seem just right. It was their 10th anniversary and where was her husband? All these business trips, late nights and not returning her calls. There on the nightly news after telling her friends she was on her way out to dinner was a picture of her husband Alton. Missing? His employer reported him missing. What do you mean missing? Just then he walks into their Atlanta condo. “Where have you been?” ask Searcy. “Searcy I need to talk to you?” This is not a good sign.
Searcy’s whole world comes crashing down around her. Alton tells her he is not in love with her anymore. Divorce? How could that be? Who was she? Searcy finds herself hiding in the apartment for days. Cell shut off. She finally answers her phone. It was her momma, Maggie. What’s wrong? Why does her mom sound so tired? So Searcy heads to small town, Fairhope, Alabama at her mom’s request. A place she never wanted to return to but, maybe this is what she needs to get away from her friends’ questions. What is she in store for? When Searcy heads home being in her snobbish mode. The airlines tell her they have lost her suitcase. What was she supposed to do with no clothes? Well once home after her dearest friend, Toby drops her off at her mom’s home. She is taken back at how her mom looks. She said she is just tired and needs a break from the pie shop that she started when Searcy was in high school. Her friend Toby has been taking care of it. Well, Searcy inspecting the refrigerator and cupboards decide they needed to get some food in the house. She needed some clothes so she heads to Walmart. (I love the way Lauren describes Searcy’s trip to the store. It was all I could do not to burst right out laughing since she got this nailed right on the head.)
Searcy finds out the next day that the shop is in trouble. For how long? How much back rent is due when the landlord Quinn comes into the store demanding payment by month’s end. How long has her momma been not feeling good? She goes with her mom to the doctor’s appointment. What is the diagnoses?
In the mist of all this, she has her first encounter with the business owner in the next to the shop to Pie Girls. Does he not have any manners playing his music so loud it comes through the walls like a storm raging. She storms over to his shop and she is struck by his beautiful eyes, the muscles bulging through his shirt. Wait! As she stampers over her words to tell him he needs to turn down his music. He tells her he is so sorry he thought the walls were insulated. That her mom and Toby never complained. Of course not! Southern ladies don’t complain but, she was. This is the start of Luke entering her life. Again and again. No she cannot be distracted. But, as the story courses ahead he becomes a huge help to her and the shop. Slowly, okay maybe not slowly they find each other’s attraction. No she is still married. Being the southern gentlemen he is says he will wait for her.
Alton arrives to town since he did not hear from Searcy and the divorce papers. Searcy being so busy with the shop and her mom being in the hospital. After they have a discussion she agrees to sign the divorce papers. She also shares her plan to save Pie Girls. She meets Alton’s love. And in the mix of all this is her annoying mother-in-law with her little dog. Her dismay at the divorce and Alton’s new love. So what happens after this encounter even throws Searcy into a WOW of how with the help of Luke, Toby, Alton and others to save Pie Girls.
Lauren Clark made this story come to life. Even though this is a similar story that I have read, heard or seen in TV movies. I still really enjoyed it. Lot of name dropping of designer brands. Glad they were common ones since I am not a shopper by designer names. Seen other comments that they did not like Searcy in the beginning and warmed up to her as the story developed. I enjoyed her character right out of the gate. I found her friends’ a bit annoying but that was the idea right. Right along with the mother-in-law. Lauren puts in enough details without going overboard that I was able to visualize each and every scene. I will now finding myself seeking out her other books by her.
The narration is done by multiple actors. I was a bit taken back by it at first? Never heard multi-narrators before. Usually only one person and many voices created by them. Did take a bit to get use to but once I did and not so much of he said and she said. I went right with the flow of the story. I thought Luke could have had a deeper sexier voice. But, I kind of got used to it after a while. I envisioned this tall, athletic, day old beard, boyish man. That helped me get past his voice. The friends and mother-in-law voices thought were perfect. The mother I know she was sickly but, I thought it made her sound like she was in her 80’s even though she was in her 50’s. That really was the only voice I did not care for because of the age issue. All together is was a nice blending of voice changeover from narrator to narrator.
The cover was really a cute design. Before reviewing this book for AudioBookReviewers I always take the covers as part of the story line. This was a perfect example of a draw you in cover. Some may say you cannot judge a book by its cover but this is a case where they both went hand and hand. Or shoe and pie in this case as you will get from the story.
Audiobook provided for review by the publisher.
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From riches to pie shops
Well, the publishers summary holds a bit of a spoiler really, in that Alton left Searcy for another man! Of course, the listener knows this but Searcy is left in ignorance. Now, he didn't really leave her destitute, but she could no longer finance her self indulgent lifestyle. Thing is, she may well have grown accustomed to the high life, but the author has provided her with an upbringing which has equipped her to deal with the normal, hum drum existence of life, just like everyday people! Just as well really, as she had to go home to Mother, drag the bakery back from the brink, accustom herself to her husbands' new lifestyle and find herself a new man. I found the first part of the story hard to stick with, I mean, the mother in law, are there really people like that? What about Searcy? So heartbroken, yet attracted to another man with a funny voice! Altons boyfriend, would he really, when nobody YET knew he existed, really show up and out Alton like that? Yet nobody seemed to mind his awful behaviour, surely he would let Alton ..... Oh well, never mind. And what about Searcy? Who on earth would try to sell expensive jewellery and designer clothing at a yard sale, especially when in need of top dollar!I also admired how clothing and furniture in an apartment in one city was all packed up and flown to another in what seemed like a couple of days. Yes, some inexplicable storylines here! AND YET ......... Despite all these gripes of mine, I did get involved in the story and actually found it enjoyable, it seemed to me that once Searcy got home, rolled up her sleeves and got on with it, the real, entertaining and interesting story began. It's very difficult to rate this story, but because I enjoyed the second part so much, I really would like to hear more stories about the Pie girls.
I think Mary Hollis Inboden would have made a far better job of it on her own, the male voice, particularly when acting Alton, sounded telephonic and creepy. The whole production sounded as if the narrators were in separate studios to each other, the characters they portrayed never sounded as if they were in the same room. I hated Luke's voice, he sounded like a simpleton, surely no woman could fall for a man with a voice like that! Mary Hollis Inboden did a good job of her parts, I love her voice and her accent, could listen to her forever, but JoBe Cerny, I'm afraid that, to me, he sounds like the man in the TV ads for cars or something, he didn't work for me at all. If I had to allocate stars for narration, Mary Hollis Inboden would get 4 and JoBe zero