“…both a love story and a story of personal growth.” —Jill M. Smith, Romantic Times, 41/2, TOP PICK
Cleo Alyssum’s plan is simple: stay sober, stay out of trouble, and bite her tongue until Social Services sees she’s pretty close to perfect and returns her little boy. But when an accident on her isolated property forces her to rent a cottage to celebrated cartoonist Jared McCloud, her carefully constructed comfort zone develops cracks.
Jared has a deadline to meet or he’ll forfeit still another lucrative career and be branded for life as the loser in the family. Only, he wasn’t meant to be a hermit, and his cartoon characters aren’t nearly as fascinating as his quirky, enigmatic landlady.
When Jared discovers his island hideaway contains a drug-dealing neighbor’s two neglected, abused teens, he shoves Cleo into the real world that she fears in his effort to save the children.
Risking everything, the pair join forces to find a home for the kids and have their mother’s dangerous boyfriend locked up. In the process, they face a new realization that there’s more to life and love than either of them ever planned or dreamed.
Previously titled Almost Perfect, Ballantine 2001
CAROLINA MAGNOLIA series in order:
Home Town Rebel
“Superb, superb, superb!…You must read this excellent, excellent book.” —Heather Heath, The Old Book Barn Gazette
“…This book is not ALMOST PERFECT, it is perfect.” —Jaclyn Reding, Rendezvous