Continuing with the Rights & Responsibilities Challenge:
13) Try your luck at the lottery.
Read a romance in which one or both protagonists works in the gambling industry or is a gambler. Or read a romance in which the hero or heroine has won a prize or has inherited something substantial – like land, a house, or a share of a business.
Even though I must have about six or seven books by Jill Shalvis in my TBR pile, I have never actually read any of them. So, this challenge afforded me the opportunity to crack open one of her newer stories, Lost and Found Sisters, published in 2017.
Lost and Found Sisters is centered on 30 year old Quinn Weller who lives in L.A., works as a sous chef in a posh restaurant, and most importantly to this story, was adopted by loving parents as an infant. When we meet Quinn, she is still mourning the accidental death of her younger sister, who was the biological child of her parents. The difference in their origins meant nothing to either of the siblings. They loved each other completely.
Into this mix enters the news that Quinn’s biological mother, who lived in a small California town some hours north of L.A. and who she never knew, has recently died of cancer leaving a dubious bequest to her daughter. Quinn’s inheritance is not really the house her mother lived in or the cafe she owned, but a 15 year old, biological sister who needs a guardian.
Quinn travels to the Wildstone, California, to meet the sister who is not too keen to be managed by anyone and finds herself sucked in by the needs of not only her sister, but the business and the inhabitants of the struggling town. In addition, she meets a handsome former citizen, who has been traveling down from San Francisco to help out his widowed mother and who secretly is fighting to save what is left of Wildstone from a greedy local politician.
This is more of ensemble story than a straight romance. If anything, the primary relationship is between Quinn and her newly discovered 15 year old sister, Tilly. And each has their own separate plot line. Mick Hennessey, our hero, also has a separate story, but it’s secondary to Quinn and Tilly’s. Furthermore, we are introduced to a slew of town characters, as well as characters from Quinn’s other life in L.A. There is definitely a lot going on here, although the small town setting makes it seem less overwhelming. However, jumping around from character to character does mean we don’t get to know any one person very well, other than maybe Quinn herself. As such, I didn’t feel as great a connection to the hero or to anyone else. It’s too bad, because I would have liked to have delved more into Quinn and Tilly, Quinn and Mick, as well as their deceased mother Carolyn, Quinn’s deceased sister (who we get to meet in an odd way), and Quinn’s adoptive parents. Less is more, I think. I would give this story a B-/B.
The Alphabet Challenge Variation – 13 down, 5 to go (R, D, L, J, A, G, N, B, C, E, F, H, Q …)
Rights & Responsibilities Challenge – 12 down, 6 to go