Denise Grover Swank – Thirty and a Half Excuses

Denise Grover Swank - Thirty and a Half ExcusesI just can’t put this series down, the author has written a series that is a complete page turner, thrilling and exciting and unpredictable.

We return to Henryetta a few months after the end of the last book, and in the meantime, Rose has been setting up the flower shop/nursery with her sister Violet. They’re running the shop as equal partners, but since Rose was a million dollars by her birth mother, she’s invested the most money in the shop, several hundred thousand dollars in fact.

Not that you would think it with the way that Violet is treating Rose, with little hurtful comments and constantly belittling her in front of her friends. And when we find out that the word around town is that Rose stole Violet’s inheritance and is forcing Violet to work for her. And what is worse is that Violet has heard these rumours and has not bothered to set the record straight. Which is not exactly the sisterly thing to do. But Violet seems to have some kind of secret, and it looks like Rose might need to figure out what it is before she can get back on good terms with her sister.

But this is all a sideshow to the main event. A new church has moved into town, headed by the televangelist Jonah Pruitt. Rose’s boyfriend Joe is just about to go on an undercover mission I’m his job for the state police, but before he goes, he warns Rose that she should be careful of Reverend Pruitt. And it turns out that that’s not the only warning Joe gave before he left, having warned the assistant DA Mason Deveraux to stay away from Rose too. Which doesn’t go down too well with Rose when she finds out, since Mason is one of only a few friends that hasn’t run for the hills when he found out about Rose’s visions.

But maybe Joe was right to try and keep Mason away, it seems like he may want to be more than just friends. And there seems to be some history between Mason and Joe which neither of them wants to talk about.

Rose continues her journey of maturation throughout this book, she’s still becoming more confident about herself, and the friends that she has made have made her much happier. Plus, it looks like she might actually leave well alone when her neighbour dies, supposedly of natural causes. But she hasn’t changed that much, and inevitably ends up more involved than she would ever have wanted!

I’m not going to spoil the end of the book, but I actually found myself quite upset about what happened. It wasn’t entirely unexpected, and I think I can probably tell what will happen next, but maybe I’ll be proved wrong, we’ll see!

My only one complaint about the book is Rose’s constant USD of the phrase ‘crappy doodles’ whenever something bad happens or doesn’t go quite to plan. I know she’s supposed to be an innocent southern belle, but ‘crappy doodles’ just sounds silly to me!


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