Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Review: Kissing Cousins by Marcia Lynn McClure

Kissing Cousins 
Kissing Cousins by Marcia Lynn McClure
Published: November 2010, 213 pages

Description: Poppy Amore loved her job waitressing at Good Ol' Days Family Restaurant. No one could ask for a better working environment. After all, her best friend Whitney worked there, and her boss, restaurant owner Mr. Dexter, was a kind, understanding, grandfatherly sort of man. Furthermore, the job allowed Poppy to linger in the company of Mr. Dexter's grandson Swaggart Moretti-the handsome and charismatic head cook at Good Ol' Days.

Secretly, Swaggart was far more to Poppy than just a man who was easy to look at. In truth, she had harbored a secret crush on him for years-since her freshman year in high school, in fact. And although the memory of her feelings-even the lingering truth of them-haunted Poppy the way a veiled, unrequited love always haunts a heart, she had learned to simply find joy in possessing a hidden, anonymous delight in merely being associated with Swaggart. Still, Poppy had begun to wonder if her heart would ever let go of Swaggart Moretti-if any other man in the world could ever turn her head.

When the dazzling, uber-fashionable Mark Lawson appeared one night at Good Ol' Days, however, Poppy began to believe that perhaps her attention and her heart would be distracted from Swaggart at last. Mark Lawson was every girl's fantasy-tall, uniquely handsome, financially well-off, and as charming as any prince ever to appear in fairy tales. He was kind, considerate, and, Poppy would find, a true, old-fashioned champion. Thus, Poppy Amore willingly allowed her heart and mind to follow Mark Lawson-to attempt to abandon the past and an unrequited love and begin to move on.
But all the world knows that real love is not so easily put off, and Poppy began to wonder if even a man so wonderful as Mark Lawson could truly drive Swaggart Moretti from her heart. Would Poppy Amore miss her one chance at happiness, all for the sake of an unfulfilled adolescent's dream?

My Review: I've read this one before, but in honor of the Swoon Fest going on, I decided to re-read it--it's been a few years. As I started reading, I remembered why I hated this book: There are two great guys in it that Poppy has to choose between, but of course, one is better and the other is best. I don't really hate it--I actually loved every minute of it. This line pretty much sums it up, "Again, Poppy was struck by the feeling she was standing with apple pie in one hand and peach pie in the other." What a tough choice!

Poppy is a sweet girl who has forever been secretly crushing on her best friend's cousin, Swaggart. In fact, making out with kissing him is on the top of her years old Dreams to Do list. When Mark comes in to the restaurant and rescues her from a very nasty customer, how could she help but wonder if he's the man to help her get over Swaggart? 

Swaggart is a manly man. He is content to follow his dreams and not do things to please the world. He's a cook/manager at his grandpa's restaurant, Good Ol' Days, and is very happy to be working there. He truly enjoys what he does, even though he could be some big corporate man. 

I loved watching the story unfold, especially seeing Poppy realizing her heart's true desire. I loved the setting--the restaurant is a throw back to easier times and has a very feel-good atmosphere. Poppy and Whitney have such a great friendship and are a great support to each other. My favorite, of course, is the good, ol', clean romance. It's all about the kissing!

language: none that I recall
violence: none
romance:  romantic kissing, clean for an older reader.
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About the Author:
Marcia Lynn McClure 
Born in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Marcia Lynn McClure grew up influenced by the reminiscent stories of rugged, rural Colorado farm life fascinatingly recounted to her by her parents, grandparents, uncles and aunts…tales of runaway buckboards, mule-drawn plows and dust pneumonia; verbalized images of stream-flooded meadows, frozen over in winter, where a child could peer through the crystal clear ice in wonder at the small fish, snakes and mice sealed in the meadow grasses beneath; stories of hardship and tragedy, love and loss. But always the stories, and the people telling them, bore evidence of the wonder and worthiness of simpler, yet sometimes brutal, times.

These influential people and the family legends they detailed, coupled with her own life experiences and utterly romantic nature, led Marcia to begin writing novels as Christmas gifts for her closest friends…friends who long for a breath of the past and miss the romance of bygone eras; friends searching for moments of distraction from the stressful, demanding times we live in.

And so, knowing that it is the breath of the past and the "take me in you arms and kiss me" kind of moments that so many women long to relive, Marcia spins her tales of love, life and laughter…adventures woven around those compelling, romantic instances that most appeal to a woman's loving heart. Marcia feels that if her readers close one of her books with a contented sigh and a delighted smile, feeling rejuvenated, cheerful and edified, then she has achieved what she set out to do…shower refreshment and happiness on anyone having experienced the story.

Marcia lives in Rio Rancho, New Mexico. There she writes her stories surrounded by her beloved friends and family...and the beautiful desert landscape of New Mexico!

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