Hi there! Today I’m excited to share a review for a new contemporary romance from Sasha Summers. ACCIDENTALLY FAMILY is a standalone romance set in the Pecan Valley series for a woman who thought her broken heart was irreparible.
About the book:
Welcome to Pecan Valley, where the town may be small but the townspeople will always lend a helping hand or a shoulder to lean on. Where good times, good humor, and good people will always lead to happily ever after.
Life for Felicity, and her teen children, is finally back on track. After her divorce, she wasn’t sure if her sweet family would ever be the same. But things are good––right up until her ex’s spirited toddler lands on Felicity’s doorstep. If the universe is going to throw lemons at her, thank God she has her best friend, Graham, to help her make lemonade out of them. How did she never notice how kind and sexy he is?
Graham is still recovering from his wife’s death years ago and trying to help his teen daughter get her life together. Who is he kidding? His daughter hates him. Forget lemons––he’s got the entire lemon tree. So when Felicity suggests they join forces and help each other, he’s all in. And suddenly he can’t stop thinking about her as more than just a friend. Too bad their timing couldn’t be worse…
Because life rarely goes as planned. Luckily there are many different kinds of family to hold you together and lift you up…plus maybe even a little love between friends.
This is not really a romance, more a family drama with some romantic elements.
Felicity Buchanan is a newly-divorced mother of two who lives in Pecan Valley, Texas. She’d married her high school sweetheart, Matt, and supported him through medical school. And about three years ago Matt started having an affair with a pretty, young drug rep. He left his family to move in with his then-pregnant fiance Amber. Felicity and their kids, Honor and Nick, were blindsided and devastated. Matt has moved to Austin with Amber and is raising young Jack; he’s has mostly neglected his family, friends and colleagues left behind in Pecan Valley. Only Honor has maintained some limited contact with her father. In fact, the book opens with Felicity and Honor being disappointed that Matt didn’t show up for Honor’s high school graduation.
And, that’s when they get the call to turn up to the emergency room. Matt, Amber, and Jack were in a catastrophic car wreck. Amber is DOA, and Jack has a broken femur and is in a coma due to head trauma; Matt’s on death’s doorstep. His former practice partner and best friend, Dr. Graham Murphy was at the ER to manage a delivering patient when Matt was rushed in. Graham spent some time with Matt awaiting the arrival of Felicity and the kids, so he knows the story is grim. Before Matt gets wheeled into surgery he tells Felicity that he isn’t going to make it, and he begs her to raise his love child. Felicity agrees, reluctantly. Her main focus was trying to clam Matt, and her intention is to find some relation of Amber’s to find a permanent guardian. Graham is there to help Felicity when they find out that Matt didn’t survive the surgery.
Nick, furious with his dad’s betrayal and lingering neglect, is a hot ball of rage when he learns his mother has agreed to care for baby Jack. It’s a good thing, almost, that Jack is unconscious for a few days because it gives everyone time to cool down from the high drama. Felicity gets an inside peek at what Matt’s life looked like with his replacement family, and it wasn’t pretty. All signs point to him being quite unhappy–and that’s not as satisfying now that she’s saddled with Jack. Because, as it turns out, Amber was a foster kid with no family, and so Jack’s next of kin, and legal guardian of record according to Matt’s will is…Honor. And there ain’t a hell cold enough for Felicity to allow her eighteen year old daughter to forego her college scholarship to care for her half-brother. So, that’s that. Jack will be coming home to Felicity’s re-vamped sewing room just as soon as he’s released from the hospital.
Add to this unexpected house guest, Felicity’s younger sister Charity is back to help celebrate Honor’s graduation. What no one yet knows is that world-touring travel guide Charity doesn’t have a return flight back to Italy. And, she’s homeless, jobless…and has bigger secrets she’s sure her big sis will help her figure out.
Graham has his own difficulty. His beloved wife Julia died of cancer maybe some years ago. He’s been raising their daughter Diana alone ever since, and Di’s a hot mess. Rebelling, sneaking out at night to drink and get high, she’s just been kicked out of her elite private school. So, she’ll be a sophomore at the public school where Nick will be a junior next year. That doesn’t stop all the old widows in Pecan Valley from trying to set Graham up with the assistant principal of that private school. That’s small-town Texas life, I guess, all the matrons want to make sure folks are properly coupled-up.
In fact, they want to see Felicity happily settled again, now that there’s no chance of reconciliation with Matt. As I said, this is a family drama. The blurb tells us that Felicity and Graham will team up, and their rekindled friendship will lead to more. But, “it’s complicated” is kind of the whole gist of the story. Felicity is a champ of a woman who takes her constant struggles in stride. She maintains the bravest face in the history of humanity and not only takes in Jack, but makes a home for him–one warmer and more loving than the one Jack was born to. Nick is as hot a mess as Diana, and these two team up on their own to create some havoc. Meanwhile, the earnest boy who’s been dogging Honor’s steps since freshman year English lit is not willing to leave for his Marines boot camp without trying everything he can to turn her head.
I really enjoyed this story. It is lush in description and characterization. The hero and heroine are grounded humans with real issues. They have problems with problems. They try their best and get crapped on, and they try even harder. The kids have issues that make sense, and their actions may be destructive but they are also reasonable in context. I didn’t hate anyone in the book, really, except Matt who was rendered somewhat sympathetic, in the end. And the choices that the characters make are all so real. The third-person point-of-view shifts between many narrators, but it’s always clear who’s talking and when. This level of clarity helped even bratty and manipulative Diana seem somewhat justified. There is a lot of comfort to go with all the hurt, especially following the funerals. Poor Felicity is overrun with casseroles, desserts and vittles she has no hope of consuming–so why not share it with Graham and Diana? Diana’s in dire need of some women in her life, and the increased visits with Honor, Felicity and Charity do her a world of good. Even Nick is an unexpected help, with both Diana and Jack. Turns out Nick’s uncanny resemblance to his despised father becomes the one touchstone confused and hurting Jack can find.
There is a bit of romance and a VERY LITTLE bit of sexytimes. That said, we know that Graham and Felicity make a great and happy couple to help parent this cadre of kids in various stages of hurt and healing. I’m sure we will see another Pecan Valley novel, this time featuring Charity and the sexy but grieving sheriff who’s always in the right place at the right time…
About the Author:
Sasha Summers grew up surrounded by books. Her passions have always been storytelling, romance and travel–passions she uses when writing. Now a best-selling and award winning-author, Sasha continues to fall a little in love with each hero she writes. From easy-on-the-eyes cowboy, sexy alpha-male werewolves, to heroes of truly mythic proportions, she believes that everyone should have their happy ending–in fiction and real life.
Sasha lives in the suburbs of the Texas Hill country with her amazing and supportive family and her beloved grumpy cat, Gerard, The Feline Overlord. She looks forward to hearing from fans and hopes you’ll visit her online