Love in a Nutshell

Destination: Michigan, near Traverse City 

Audio Book: Love in a Nutshell by Janet Evanovich and Dorien Kelly

Put the mystery writer Janet Evanovich together with romance writer Dorien Kelly and this is what you get–perhaps not the best of either of them, but Love in a Nutshell is an enjoyable light-hearted romance loosely plotted around some amateur sleuthing.

Lake Michigan
Lake Michigan

Our heroine, Kate, needs a job because she just got fired and because she has decided to renovate her parents old summer home along Lake Michigan. She envisions a B & B catering to the summer people who swell the small town’s population during the warmer months.  Her only saleable skill is waitressing, so she marches into the most successful brew pub in town and more or less demands a job.
The impossibly handsome, intelligent and morally straight owner finds her impudence adorable and her perky curves attractive.  He offers her the job of finding out who is systematically attempting to sabotage his business. Since this quest involves the two of them working closely together, sparks inevitably fly.  In the old melodramas, the heroine’s property was being taken away by the evil landlord, who would trade the mortgage for a (ahem!) kiss.  We booed the villain and cheered when the handsome hero swooped in to save the heroine from a terrible fate.


But in this post-modern melodrama, the handsome hero owns the mortgage, and therefore plays the villain role, too.  I’m confused.  How can the villain also be the hero?  (I’m sensing a trend here. Remember the beach romance, Summer Rental? That romantic hero was the annoying landlord–although he had his own mortgage problems.)  But the real villain of this book  is the unknown saboteur. Kate finds herself in increasingly perilous situations and Mr. Impossibly Handsome rescues the plucky heroine just as though she were tied to that board going through the sawmill. (Remember that silent film scene?)

Kate wouldn’t be in such perilous situations if she exercised just a bit of common sense. I’m just sayin’.

The book pokes fun at an interesting assortment of small town characters.  Despite the rather lame shenanigans of the real villain, the book might tempt you to experience a vacation on the Michigan shore in a place like Traverse City. (Which just happens to be the home of our very own film critic, Jane Boursaw!) So if you’re looking for an audio book for a road trip, or to exercise by, consider Love in a Nutshellfor your Traveler’s Library. And of course it comes in other flavors–i.e. electronic or print.

Disclaimer: The audio books were provided by the publisher for review, without any expectations on their part. The photos in this post are from Flickr. Click on them to see more information about the photographer. When you click on a book title link to Amazon, anything that you buy in the following 24 hours gives a few cents to my affiliate account, without costing you any extra. Thank you.

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About Vera Marie Badertscher

A freelance writer who loves to travel. When she is not traveling she is reading about travel. When she is not reading or traveling, she is sharing with the readers of A Traveler's Library, or recreating her family's past at Ancestors In Aprons . She has written for Reel Life With Jane, Life is a Trip and other websites. Also co-author of a biography, Quincy Tahoma, The Life and Legacy of a Navajo Artist. Contact Vera Marie by e-mail.

7 thoughts on “Love in a Nutshell

  1. Oh, wow. I will definitely have to read this. My next 3-book series is set in Michigan (Detroit)and I’ve been in the Traverse City area many times while staying at a friend’s cabin. A beautiful state, but going through some dire times. I love Evanovich, but it does sound like an old cliched plotline. And a heroine with no common sense???

  2. Amid the current spate of foreclosures, these tales of women beholden to men for the roof over their heads sound neither romantic nor mysterious. Thanks nonetheless, Vera, for another insightful review.

    1. Interesting point. The book does acknowledge the current financial crisis, and many people are beholden to mortgage holders–whom can come in many flavors.

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