Title: Better Get to Livin’ by Sally Kilpatrick
Genre: Contemporary, Supernatural Elements, Romance
Length: 320 pages
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley
Smart, witty, and delightfully offbeat, this new novel from the author of The Happy Hour Choir and Bittersweet Creek is an uplifting story about following your heart, even when it leads to the last place you’d expect…
Presley Cline has put aside dreams of Hollywood stardom and come back to Ellery, Tennessee, to work in a beauty shop. In truth, the dreams in question were more her mother’s than her own. Presley may have the face and body of a movie icon, but she lacks the stomach for it. Yet a loving relationship and normal home life seem almost as unattainable as an Oscar. Being able to see and speak to dead people certainly isn’t helping.
Presley’s first job, beautifying “clients” at the Anderson Funeral Home, is quite a change from working on a movie set. The place is home to dozens of ghosts all hoping that Presley can help them move on–and also one very-much-alive owner, Declan Anderson. Like Presley, Declan is caught between following family expectations and his own aspirations. But with a little meddling from loved ones and locals–both living and dead–Presley is starting to see that life is too short not to be who you want to be, and the most rewarding journeys involve some unexpected detours…
Better Get to Livin’ by Sally Kilpatrick is a delightfully charming romance with a slight supernatural element (ghosts).
Following an embarrassing Hollywood scandal, actress Presley Cline returns to Ellery, TN to lie low for a few weeks until the publicity dies down. Immediately after her return home, a tornado hits, leaving Presley and her mother LuEllen in need of a place to stay. Gladly accepting Declan Anderson’s offer to stay at his family’s funeral home, Presley is dismayed when she discovers her high school crush on him has not lessened over the years. When Presley is offered the chance to audition for a role that could catapult her to stardom, will she follow her heart or her dream?
Despite her years in L.A. and her momentary lapse in judgment, Presley is surprisingly down to earth and completely lacking in guile. Mortified by the paparazzi photos showing her assets, she is happy to escape the limelight but less than thrilled to return home. Her relationship with her mom is tense since LuEllen refuses to take better care of herself. Presley is also trying to decide if becoming an actress is her dream or her mother’s. Equally troubling is her inability to sustain a romantic relationship but if she wants the role she is auditioning for, she knows she will have to move past her fears. Presley works up the nerve to ask Declan to help her overcome her problems but their no strings fling becomes complicated when she begins to fall for him.
Declan is struggling to reconcile his personal dreams with his promises to keep the funeral home in the family. He is eagerly planning his future while impatiently waiting for his brother Sean to return and honor the agreement they made years earlier. A little stunned by Sean’s news once he does come home, Declan knows he has to do what is best for the family even if that means he has to alter his plans. Since he is all too aware how it feels to sacrifice his dreams, Declan refuses to stand in the way of Presley’s career although he wants nothing more than to spend the rest of his life with her. Will Declan let Presley walk out of his life without telling her how he feels about her? Or will Presley discover a compromise that will allow the star-crossed lovers to live happily ever after?
Better Get to Livin’ is a well-written novel with a quirky but engaging storyline. The characters a wonderfully developed and anyone who has ever tried to reconcile their dreams with family expectations will find their issues easy to relate to. With a sizzling hot romance, a dash of a supernatural element and some very mysterious deaths, this latest novel by Sally Kilpatrick is sure to be a hit with anyone who enjoys contemporary love stories.