Ellie Connor is a professional biographer with a yen for the blues. Her imagination has been captured by a minor blue singer from the 30s named Mabel Beauvais. A woman who was just about to make it big, when *poof* she disappears never to be heard from again. Ellie has decided to write Mable's biography and possibly ferret out the secret of her disappearance.
There are many theories about Mabel's disappearance being bandied about late at night on the various blues blogs and discussion boards that Ellie subscribes to. On one, she strikes up a friendship with Laurence 'Blue' Reynaud, a fellow blues enthusiast who happens to live in the same town that Mabel was from.
Blue invites Ellie out to Pine Bend, TX to further her research on Mabel and to complete her book. But Ellie has other reasons for going to Pine Bend. that was where her mother, deceased since Ellie was two, met Ellie's father. Ellie has never known who her father was and while researching Mabel's past she also hopes to find some answers about her own.
I have read only one other Ruth Wind book (written as Barbara Samuel) [b:No Place Like Home|6885081|No Place Like Home|Barbara Samuel|http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/411RA6BK75L._SL75_.jpg|803969](it was wonderful). And I have a slew of her books on my TBR. But I came across this one and couldn't wait to crack it open. I love books steeped in family drama, especially the old secrets southern family drama.
Wind does a great job of creating an atmosphere of Southern hospitality, warmth and welcome while still managing an air of close kept confidences and secrets. The Pine Benders like Ellie and rather enjoy the fact that she is writing a book about one of their own. But you always get the sense they know more than they are telling. And Ellie of course is also playing her cards close to her chest, subtly asking questions that seem benign enough on the surface but are designed to help figure out her own past.
The character of Blue is a very interesting one. I like it when an author give a character a quirk or a trait that makes them feel a bit more real. It is easy to make someone handsome or tortured, but there is a depth to Blue that is immediately arresting. He is a bit tortured, vaguely alcoholic, completely charming and purely Southern. I really enjoyed the heck out of him and thought his and Ellie's relationship progressed at just the right pace.
I had a suspicion of how the story would play out, but I didn't guess all the secrets. I especially liked Ellie's inner dialogue once she got her answers. It was sweet and very in keeping with the character. And the HEA between Ellie and Blue was even more satisfying.
I really need to break ou the rest of the Barbara Samuels books I have in my TBR. So far she is 2 for 2 for me.[b:No Place Like Home|6885081|No Place Like Home|Barbara Samuel|http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/411RA6BK75L._SL75_.jpg|803969]