Hmm... I think I've never read any book by Jennifer Greene, so she was a new author for me. I first saw Blame it on Cupid at Zellers, but decided to be a good girl and not buy it. Afterwards, I saw a review at AAR which gave a B or B+ to the book and so decided to get it.
published in January 2007
Merry is a klutz and a free-spirit. Not a new age-ish free-spirit, it's just that she doesn't like to be tied down. She enjoys life, is always positive and likes to be able to quit her job when she wants it... which comes in handy in this situation. Merry is leaving Minnesota for Virginia where she will become the guardian of Charlene Ross. Charlene is daughter of Charlie, Merry's friend that she hasn't seen in almost a decade. When Merry met Charlie, they immediately became good friends (just friends)... Charlie had just divorced and obtained sole custody of Charlene and was worried that if something happened to him, Charlene would be all alone. So that night, on a napkin, Charlie and Merry each wrote that they would take care of each other's kids (if any) in case she or he died... and this is what happened, Charlie died.
Since Charlene is all alone with no relatives, Merry decides to become her guardian and moves to Virginia. She has many plans, ideas and etc. for her and Charlene, but it all come to a stop when she sees the girl. Charlene is 11 years old and a real tomboy. She had a real special bond with him and his death had affected her a great deal. To feel safe, Charlene has started wearing her father's clothes - although too big, styled her hair the same as her father and hang onto objects and passions they share. Luckily for Merry, she has some help from her neighbor, Jack who is also divorced and is raising his two 15 y.o. twins.
Series: I don't know if it's a series or not. However, there was a previous book in which Merry appeared in, Blame it on Chocolate. Hmmm, I guess it's the Blame it on series!
Genre: contemporary romance
Review - I thought the story was very enjoyable. The situation is a bit unique, as Merry has never met Charlene and well, a promise written on a napkin, no matter how formal, is not legally binding. Basically, Merry really wants to help Charlene for Charlene. Actually, I'm quite amazed at how Merry is unselfish. Sure, she expected to meet Charlene and everything would click together and they'd be best buddies; however, Charlene is really not a girly girl and both are really different, but they try and that's what matters. The relationship that Merry builds with jack is also fun to read :D
Characters - I liked Merry's character. I mean, I like airhead and klutz in general, because they usually bring good laughs, but I wouldn't qualify of Merry as a klutz. Yes, she gets lost, but in general she knows what she's doing or trying to do. She's also the kind of characters who you'll easily sympathize with and you'll support. I didn't find her annoying and I give her credits for trying, trying and trying :D As for Jack, he was all right. I mean, dark, tall and handsome - how many times did you read this combination by the way. He's been burnt by a divorce and so, he wants sex, but no relationships. Who can blame him? However, he's there when you need him, he'll help you out no matter what... It's just, I guess his type are becoming too frequent? Charlene was an interesting character as well. I'd say she's more mature than most kids of her age and it's not due to her father's death. However, no matter how mature you are at that age, you'll still have problems. There's the grief she's dealing with, after all her father was her only rock in her life and losing him will affect her life, and then, she's growing up. However, she wasn't annoying and she was making real efforts with Merry. The only other characters worth mentioning would be Jack's twins Cooper and Kick. Copy image of their father, Cooper is the silent, nerd one and Kick is the football player. You do get some side-story with Cooper, but character-wise, I'd say typical teenagers :P
Story & Writing - I'll give credits to Ms Greene. The plot is not new - orphan gets a guardian who has no experience with kids - but Ms Greene manages to write a story , although not too original, not too typical either. There was no reluctance from Merry at all, she had already decided that she'd be Charlene's guardian no matter what and threw herself 150% in. So you had the grief from the child, difficult adaptation for both, Merry falling in love with the neighbour, Jack coming over to help Merry... You had the twins and Cooper's side-story... You also have the plot where someone is doubting of Merry's abilities for guardianship and Charlene's mother coming back for the money, but overall, it still wasn't too typical. Ms Greene was still able to incorporate some unique and funny moments :D
The Cover - I have to say that it's the cover which made me pick up this book. It's bright and has a nice design and no naked ppl :D I also luv the texture...
Am I keeping the book: Sigh, I'm a book hog. Why did I put this question here? In 90% of the time, it'll be a yes :D So yes, I am keeping it. Till I have to get rid of some books to make space for other books at least.
Anything else: nope... Except that I'll probably try another book by Ms Greene in the near future.