Thursday, December 4, 2014

Book Review: TESS IN BOOTS by Courtney Rice Gager

Genre: Chick-lit, Contemporary Romance
Publication Date: December 2, 2014


Tess Dougherty plans every aspect of her life right down to the last detail. But she doesn’t plan on running her boyfriend off by bringing up the topic of marriage before he’s ready. And she doesn’t plan to lose her job on the day she’s set to receive a huge promotion. So when her perfect world unravels, Tess makes a new plan: disappear. 

Tess packs her bags and leaves her city apartment for a remote vineyard in North Carolina. At first, she’s put off by the slow pace of small-town life in the South. She’s especially irritated by Thatcher, the vineyard’s smart-mouth, dimple-faced farmhand. But she soon begins to appreciate the area’s charm, and Thatcher’s charm, too. She even swaps her trademark heels for a pair of cowboy boots. As Tess spends more time getting to know Thatcher, she finds herself loosening her grip on her old life little by little. Unfortunately, things on the vineyard aren’t as simple as they seem. There’s a secret here, and when the truth comes to light, Tess is forced to reconsider every plan she’s ever made. 



This was such a lovely and surprising story. When I first read the blurb and even when I started reading the book, I was anticipating a sweet story that I would most likely enjoy but soon enough those expectations were surpassed because I got to more than enjoy this book, I loved it! This story was so funny, vibrant, charming, but most of all it had a brilliant puzzling plot that totally captured me and kept me reading and reading.

Tess' story starts with some conflicts as the blurb mentions. She has lost her job and she has scared her boyfriend away by bringing up marriage into the relationship. At a lose of what to do, when the opportunity to go away for a while presents itself she realizes she needs to take it. Originally this gateway was meant to be all about helping her brother with his new vineyard business in North Carolina and also a chance for her to figure out how to get her life back in order but things didn't turn out that way. She never expected this little vacation would bring her one of the biggest challenges she's ever taken and that she would enjoy it so much. Moreover, she never expected meeting a new man and much less one like Thatcher James. He makes her feel all sorts of new emotions that both confuse her and excite her at the same time. 

"There it was again. That gentle voice. I couldn't quite place the way it made me feel; intrigued, in a way, but also nervous."

So Tess is all busy working hard on having everything perfect and ready to accomplish this huge task that would help her brother's business. In doing so, she meets people from the town that tend to be a little too gossipy about things yet very secretive about others. That's how the puzzle of this story slowly begins and the fun right there starts. Tess is constantly trying to figure out the rumors of the town and what people really mean but nothing is ever clear. Then there's Thatcher who is always near her distracting her thoughts as he also has some secrets of his own. And if that wasn't enough, even more pieces of the puzzle get mixed up when people from back in the city give Tess some surprising news that just complicate things even further. . .

“I came here because I thought it would help me get my life back on track. But now I was more off course than ever.”

I'm stopping here with describing the story because I don't want to give anything away. Something I really enjoyed about this book was the element of surprise and I want to maintain that with this review. ;)

Reading this book was so much fun. Trying to figure out the big puzzle behind the secrets, rumors, and confusions along with Tess was so entertaining. Tess was really funny and the things that happen to her were hilarious. I got to like her character a lot because she wasn't in any way perfect; she was just a woman trying to make sense of her many crazy situations and figuring out what was really important for her in life. Now Thatcher James, well, he was something else. This man was direct, incredibly charming, and irresistible with words that he totally captivated me. He made me laugh and sigh too many times and I loved him for Tess. He was exactly what she needed in her life.

"I'd been unchanged by knowing him. He saw my strengths, encouraged me, and held me accountable to who I was. He didn't try to make me into someone else."

Again, just a lovely and fun read this one was! If you're looking for a story that makes you smile, laugh, keep you guessing, and by the end leaves you very happy, then Tess's story is sure for you too!

Favorite Quotes:

"Darn him. Why did he have to be so... charming? I didn't know what to say. But I did know I kind of wanted him to wink again."

"You're waiting for me to kiss you, aren't you?"

"Chin up, buttercup. You'll get your happy ending."

"I'm not interested in changing you, Tess. I want to know you. All of you."


About the Author:
Courtney Rice Gager first fell in love with reading as a child on summer vacations by the ocean. Today, she enjoys writing her own humorous and heartwarming stories that are best paired with plenty of sand and sunshine. Courtney is the author of The Buggy List. Her upcoming title, Tess in Boots, is contracted with Anaiah Press for release in December 2014. She lives in Southern New Jersey with her husband and daughter.

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