River Valley – Book 1
Author Tess Thompson assembles a colorful cast of endearing small-town characters and takes you on a journey that will make you believe in the possibilities of life – even in the face of overwhelming adversity and unimaginable grief.
Lee Tucker is the kind of woman you find yourself rooting for long after the last page is read. When her husband commits suicide, he leaves her pregnant and one million dollars in debt to a loan shark. Out of options, she escapes to her deceased mother’s dilapidated house located in a small Oregon town that, like her, is financially ruined, heartbroken and in desperate need of a fresh start. Lee’s resilience leads to a plan for a destination restaurant named Riversong, to new chances for passion and love, and to danger from her dead husband’s debt as her business blooms.
A surprising mix of romance, humor, friendship, intrigue and gourmet food, Riversong entertains while reminding you of life’s greatest gifts.
Riversong by Tess Thompson is the first book in her The River Valley Collection series. I was given a chance to read this book, before I reviewed her new release RIVERBEND
Lee had been kicked in the teeth by life, so many times, if that had been me, I would have given up.
Her mother was a drunk, her father was not on the scene. Lea was a total loner. Her only friend was the nearby neighbour, Mrs White. We get a look at Lee’s life before she gets her college life. And it is bleak.
Skipping ahead to the future ……. It’s not much better !! Her husband kills himself after their latest game doesn’t go to plan, leaving Lee with a million dollar debt, and an unplanned pregnancy! Being chased by a loan shark, Lee is reduced to running back home, and to all the sad memories stored there.
We meet a wide variety of characters in this book, and I am sure I have met a few of these people along the way.
Mrs White is still there, and still a strong woman. Her mother has now died. Tommy is the singer in the bar that Lee first works in. He is an all round nice guy. He is there for everyone, and he has had his own set of heartbreaks. The way they dance around their for each other (feelings (the slow way they moved together, he moved forward, she moved back, very much like a dance), especially Lee, was so sweet.
He was so patient with her, his movement reminded me of a cowboy and a spooked horse, he would move towards her, and she would shy away. But he never pushed too quick. She felt guilty of her feelings for Tommy, her husband hasn’t been dead long.
Lee has a hard time believing that she deserves to be happy, she also has a strong grip on her little world, she has to control EVERYTHING, or bad things could happen. When she was approached to start a restaurant, Lee is overwhelmed and terrified.
But with help from the people she meets along the way, Lee creates Riversong. She hasn’t stopped looking over her shoulder, she still expects the loan shark to find her, I think that is one of the reasons she won’t let Tommy and others close. She has to protect herself and others.
I loved how Tess wrote Lee’s story, the love and affection that Lee had for Tommy grew with time, the surprise of a relative, I so didn’t see that coming. Lee took people under her wing, without her even realising it. She faced her crisis one day at a time, she was only running away to the old home, to renovate and sell, not to run away, she had a debt to pay, and she was going to do it. Each character was well thought out, and everyone was a joy to discover. I totally loved this book, it was such a joy to meet these characters.