Grand Central Publishing, $8.00, ISBN 978-1-4555-7498-8
Contemporary Romance, 2015
Welcome back to Cavanaugh Island, a wonderful place in South Carolina, which seems to be a cross between Downton Abbey and that slaver paradise place from Gone with the Wind – what was it called again? It is also a place where nothing of interest ever happens. Cherry Lane continues the tradition of this place being the graveyard in which suspense, anticipation, and enthusiasm all come to wither and die.
Devon Gilmore is pregnant with her cheating no-good now-ex’s baby. Her parents disowned her at once because a woman in her thirties should still be treated like a child. Devon, no job, no place to go, comes to Cavanaugh Island, where the rich people who are either too old to star in books of their own or have already starred in their own books immediately fight to be the one to give her free shelter. Devon sighs and walks around like a wounded doe as everyone in this story bends over backwards to make her happy, despite the fact that they don’t really have to, and our hero David Sullivan is attracted to her. You’d think her being the baby momma of another man’s child may be a problem here, but no, there is no conflict. He’s all about love, a family, and what not. Oh, Devon’s parents disowned her? Don’t worry, that one too gets resolved sweetly, conveniently, and with minimal effort.
So what is the conflict here, you ask? Well, there is an attempt or two on the life of Devon’s fetus, but this part of the story is shoe-horned in pretty shoddily in a manner solely to provide some drama late in the story. For the most part, it’s watch these people talk, walk around, see places, talk about how wonderful life in Cavanaugh Island is compared to the big city, a finger or two to other beautiful women not within the circle of acceptable people (sluts, liars, skanks – all of those Not One of Us type of women!). If you are nodding off to sleep, maybe you can keep awake by trying to figure out how this person is related to that person. Sure, everyone seems to be related to everyone else here – not in an inbred cannibal horror movie way, of course – but good luck figuring out how to tell these identical beautiful people apart.
At the end of the day, Cherry Lane is like The Sound of Music, but only with Maria never getting off that hill she was running and singing on for the rest of the movie. If you really like tales of boring one-dimensional paragons of perfection discuss their next dinner party or the color of the sky for over 300 pages, this one will be great for any occasion. Everyone else… well, I suppose this book will make a pretty decent door stopper.