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See below for today’s special Guest Post from Ivy Entwined author Laura Simcox.  And don’t forget there are more stops to come so check out the schedule hereIvyEntwined_FINAL

Trust me, you don’t want to miss this one – it’s a fun, sweet and charming read and you can find out all about it with my review below.

*****

Laura_Simcox_publicity_photo_2013

A Day in the Life of a Small Town Mayor: Meet Ivy Callahan

Hey there. I’m Laura Simcox, author of Ivy Entwined, and I’m dying for you to meet my heroine, Ivy. She is 26 years old, and was recently elected the mayor of her small home town. She lives in snowy Celebration, NY, where every holiday is an excuse for a parade, but pretty much everybody is broke.

Wanna take a peek at what she’s up against? She could really use some advice. Thanks!

Job requirements: Mayor, Celebration, NY.

-Develop plan to revive the downtown, get the snowplow fixed, get wireless installed in city hall

-Utilize outdated desk top computer and accompanying sticky keyboard

-Manipulate duct tape as a budget-saving device

-Direct annoying ex-fiancé, who is town planner, in creating parades and festivals to keep up town spirit

-Manage four phone lines and three irritated citizens simultaneously

-Exhibit advanced skills in moderating town council meetings, especially during a donut shortage

-Acquire business associates who will benefit the town. The richer the better. If they’re amazingly handsome, so be it.

-Keep tabs on super-hot business associate so he doesn’t double cross you. Double cross him first. Celebration needs the money.

-Avoid falling in love with super-hot business associate, even if he stares at you like he’s starving. Even if you crushed on him so hard in junior high, you wrote his name in your locker in Sharpie.

-Listen to gossip, but don’t spread it. When in doubt, ask your grandma, but be careful: she’s playing Cupid. Target: super hottie with the cash.

-Put in regular appearances at the Lovin’ Cup diner: pour coffee, shake hands and eat French toast. Don’t gossip.

-Maintain a holiday spirit, 24/7, 365. It is Celebration, after all.

*****

Review:

Ivy Callahan is back in her hometown of Celebration, NY to take over for her dad as the town’s mayor.  On her first day on the job, she gets a few not so nice surprises – her ex-fiance is now the town planner and her childhood crush is back trying to push Megamart, a big-box store that will destroy what is left of her town.  While her ex may just be annoying, the crush is just as sexy as ever and hard to resist.  As an orphaned teenager, Marcus Weaver was taken in by his drunken uncle but he couldn’t get out of Celebration fast enough.  Now he’s only back because the town is his ticket to owning his own Megamart franchise.  But his biggest obstacle is the new, gorgeous mayor.  With the town’s future at stake, Ivy has to do something.  But will their attraction get in the way of either of them getting what they want ….

I really enjoyed Ivy Entwined.  There is a decent amount of business and political maneuvering, so some may find that gets in the way of the romance, but it felt very realistic to me.  It has a zany, small town charm with wacky secondary characters, but it also feels like it is something that could actually happen.  Both Marcus and Ivy make mistakes, sometimes they are doozies, but their reactions are very believable – full of pride and hurt, they sometimes let their emotions get the better of them, but you know that there is a happy ever after just waiting for them to grab it.

Ivy is sometimes her own biggest enemy but she tries hard to keep the town’s welfare in the forefront, even when it interferes with her growing feelings for Marcus.  She is trying to juggle a lot and most of it is contradictory so her choices aren’t necessarily easy ones.  I may not have made the same ones but I can definitely see why she does what she does.  Marcus has some leftover resentment and anger from his childhood.  He’s carried it a long time but it’s also pushed him to be successful.  Now he’s at the point that he’s got to decide if that is going to be a ruling factor in his future.  Can he let it go and move on?

Set during the winter, Ivy Entwined is a fun choice to get you in the holiday spirit a little early (Simcox’s writing is so well done I actually forgot it was still hot outside a few times) – full of laughter and smiles but also a few sniffles, I finished the last page with a little grin in my heart.