False Start

  • by Barbara Valentin
  • Narrated by Wendy Rich Stetson
  • 7 hrs and 13 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Mattie Ross is probably the last person who should be doling out good counsel to anyone about anything. Still smarting after being left at the altar two years earlier, she is strapped with debt, has sworn off men, routinely buries herself in her work, and despite her well-proportioned figure remains haunted by childhood taunts of "Fatty Mattie". But to her publisher at the Chicago Gazette, and listeners, she is their latest advice columnist, The Plate Spinner, a self-assured working parent to adorable fake children and multi-tasking savant. Enter Nick Derosa, the twin brother of Mattie's cold-footed fiance, who is trying to get back on his feet after his brother steals his identity and implicates him in an illegal investment scheme. But thanks to Nick's legendary running career, the publisher of the Chicago Gazette proposes a wager: If Nick can train an out-of-shape working parent in time to compete in the Chicago Marathon, he will contribute enough to help Nick launch his own non-profit running club for kids. Suddenly "Fatty Mattie" and Nick are thrust together as the most unlikely of pairs and under a deadline to put their trust issues aside and avoid another false start in their lives.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Funny and easy to read

If you could sum up False Start in three words, what would they be?

Funny, cute, and entertaining


Have you listened to any of Wendy Rich Stetson’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

Not yet, but I really like Wendy Rich Stetson’s performance in this book. The narrator is perfect and enjoyable to listen to.


Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes, I want to, but I don't have enough time for that. This book is 7 hours long!


Any additional comments?

I like this book because this is not a steamy romance novel. I prefer a funny and uplifting book like this, perfect book to read before go to bed and help my mind separate my sleep time from the stresses of my daily life.The characters are pretty likable. I'll definitely check out more of her books. I've recommended this audiobook if you like simple sweet romance kind of book. One more thing about this book, it motivates me to exercise which is a good thing. It was a great read!

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- sandra

Thoughtful and reflective

This was a really inner thought provoking book. It started off slow for me. But, then it hit it's stride. (Pun intended). This is not a steamy romance, though it does have an element of romance. This book is more about soul searching, finding inner strength. It sort of deals with overcoming self-doubt and hardships that almost everyone can relate to.

Nick and Maddy were very well developed characters that fought through difficulties life threw their way. They didn't come out unscathed, but they kept moving forward with maybe a few fits and starts. And, yet, this book is not highly emotional either. The book maintains enough of a light-hearted balance that keeps you from having intense emotional hills and valleys. I found it more reflective.

Lastly, specifically to the working out, eating right, etc. this book for me was right on time. Seasons are changing, it's getting cold, and I'd been struggling to try and stick to my regular workout routine. I was also having a love affair with pastries with my coffee. I'd hit a wall or was in a workout slump. And, listening to Maddie struggle, who was just starting her fitness journey, made me feel better about my own current struggle and pulled me right out of my slump. I listened while I worked out which kept me going.

Lastly, I am a huge Wendy Rich Stetson fan. She just always captures the essence of the characters. Maddie and Nick were already written great. Then, Wendy comes along and literally breathes life into them. Even the side characters are great. Really great story that will leave you feeling good at the end.
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- J and M

Book Details

  • Release Date: 10-25-2016
  • Publisher: Gemma Halliday Publishing