ORDER A COPY: Starting Now: A Blossom Street Novel
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Publishing Date: April 2, 2013
Hardcover: 352 pages
Rating: 4 stars
For years Libby Morgan dreamed only of making partner in her competitive, high-pressure law firm. She sacrificed everything for her career—her friends, her marriage, her chance at creating a family. When her boss calls Libby into his office, she assumes it will finally be good news, but nothing can prepare her for the shocking reality: She’s been let go and must rebuild her entire life . . . starting now.
With no job prospects in sight, Libby reaches out to old friends and spends her afternoons at A Good Yarn, the local knitting store. There she forms a close bond with Lydia, the sweet-natured shop owner; Lydia’s spirited teenage daughter, Casey; and Casey’s best friend, Ava, a shy yet troubled girl who will shape Libby’s future in surprising and profound ways.
As A Good Yarn becomes a second home—and the women a new kind of family—Libby relishes the different person she’s become. She even finds time for romance with a charming and handsome doctor who seems to be her perfect match. But just as everything is coming together, Libby must make a choice that could forever change the life she holds so dear.
Warmly told and richly textured, Starting Now is filled with the promise of new beginnings and the unending delights of companionship and love.
Libby Morgan is a lawyer who is on the fast track to becoming a partner in her firm. She works day and night at the expense of a social life toward that goal. It is her only reason for existing. When she is called into her boss’s office she is sure that this is the day she will make partner. Instead, she is let go due to budget cuts. Libby is certain with her reputation all of the major firms will be offering her jobs. After many months of trying, she realizes that is not the case.
She passes the yarn store in her neighborhood and stops in. There she meets the owner, her 13-year-old daughter and her daughter’s troubled friend, Amy. Amy and her brother are being raised by their alcoholic grandmother. In time, Libby, Lydia and the girls become friends and Libby starts knitting caps for the preemies in the hospital. When Libby accompanies the girls to the hospital to deliver the hats, they meet one of the doctors, Dr. Phillip Stone. Phillip accuses Libby of allowing her young daughter to get pregnant. Libby assures him that not only does she not have a daughter, but that Amy is only 13 years old.
Coming to the hospital marks a change in Libby’s life. She starts living one instead of just existing for the next case. She volunteers at the hospital to help with the babies and start to make friends, including Dr. Stone. When it turns out that Phillip was correct and Amy is pregnant, Libby helps Amy through her pregnancy. Amy wants Libby to adopt her baby and Libby is delighted.
Just when Libby has finally decided the new path her life will take, the baby’s father comes back looking for his child, and Libby’s boss contacts her making her an offer to return to the firm. Now Libby has to make a decision to fight for her new life or return to her old one, and where will her new relationship with Phillip fit in with those decisions?
This was actually a good book. It was a typical Debbie Macomber book, and I’m sure all her fans will enjoy reading it. It was also nice to read about the people that we have met in other Blossom Street books.
Received ARC from netgalley.com courtesy of the publisher. Thank you.
“As you can see, I’m fine…I apologize for that emotional display, but I’m in control now.”
“Good.” He hesitated and then commented. “When I get upset I usually have a shot of good whiskey.”
“Not my thing,” Libby told him, cringing at the thought. She had a bottle of wine in the refrigerator, but frankly she wasn’t in the mood.
Not knowing what to say, Libby claimed the chair across from him and pressed her two hands between her knees. The silence felt awkward and strained. She was content to wait him out. Eventually he’d get bored and leave. At least that was what she hoped.
Finally Libby couldn’t stand it any longer. “Did you stop by to embarrass me even more?”
He arched his brows as though her question surprised him. “No. I came to make sure you made it home all right.”
“As you can see I…did.”
That didn’t appear to satisfy him. “You want to tell me what happened back there?”
“No.” Libby had no intention of explaining what had led to that dreadful scene. She’d embarrassed herself enough for one day and wasn’t looking to repeat the performance. Besides, she’d blurted out more than she’d intended earlier.” I believe I already told you everything…” Actually she’d told him more than she was comfortable admitting.
Leaning forward he set his elbows on his knees, and rubbed his palms together.
“I’m not normally like this.” Libby blurted out. Naturally, she’d been upset before. Losing her position with the law firm had been traumatic, too. But it hadn’t caused her to throw herself into a man’s arms and sob her heart out. “Let me put it this way. I am usually able to control my emotions; today was an exception.”
“Good to know.”
She’d been on the verge of calming down when Phillip Stone had arrived. Her pulse had returned to an even rhythm, and she’d managed to herd her thought away from the keen embarrassment. Now all her emotions threatened to burst free again. “I was doing just fine until you came along.” Her voice wobbled slightly before she regained control.
“I see. Then it’s all my fault.”
“Yes, exactly.” She smiled in spite of herself. He really was the most surprising man.
He smiled back. “I was worried about you,” he said, speaking low.
“I…I’m okay now.”
He leaned forward and reached for her hand. His touch felt cool against her heated skin.
“How did you know where I live?” she asked without looking up. Her phone number was unlisted.
“I asked Sharon. She had your volunteer form on file.”
He’d been a bit bold about tracking her down. And Sharon already seemed to think there was something romantic happening between them. Her nurse friend had probably been eager to share the information.
“Do you regret your divorce?” he asked.
Libby debated how best to answer that. “What I regret was that I didn’t try harder to save the marriage. We were both so eager to give up on each other. Joe wanted a family and I felt we should wait. Then seeing his baby today…” She paused as her throat started to tighten and she found she couldn’t complete the sentence.
“We all have regrets, Libby. I have my share too. I let someone I loved go; a woman I’d hoped to spend the rest of my life with. I just stood back and let her walk away.”
Libby looked up, amazed that he was willing to share something so personal with her.
“What happened today was clearly painful,” he continued, “but you seem like you’re willing to own your part in what caused the divorce. Don’t make the mistake of beating yourself up, especially now. You don’t have anything to feel guilty about.”
“You didn’t have regrets after your breakup?”
He laughed softly. “Oh, I had plenty. It took awhile for me to realize that I had lost perspective. I assumed the hospital would fail to function if I wasn’t there to overlook every detail.”