All Out of Love by Lori Wilde

LOVE
All Out of Love by Lori Wilde
Publisher: Avon: HarperCollins Publishers
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full Length (226 pages)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Camellia

Welcome to Cupid, where every wish for love comes true…

For years, a small group of women in Cupid, TX, led by Millie Greenway, have taken it upon themselves to keep the Cupid legend alive. Now Millie has roped her four disbelieving granddaughters into joining the cause.

Lace Bettingfield knows for a fact that the Cupid legend is bogus. As a shy sixteen-year-old, she left a letter at the statue and got nothing in return but heaps of embarassment when her letter ended up printed in the school newspaper. But now the boy she longed for is back in town and Lace can’t help wondering…what if?

Ah, yes! This one brings back memories of high school years and the emotional growing pains that went along with them.

Lace Bettingfield well remembers the vicious teasing and trauma of falling in love with an ‘older’ boy, who was the football hero and sought after by all the girls. As time passes, she realizes her bad time in high school has an upside. It toughened her, made her strong and resilient. She’d conquered her stutter, lost weight and gained it back because she chose to. She is now healthy and knows who she is and is comfortable in her own skin. Moreover, she has earned a Ph.D. in plant science and is back in Cupid, Texas doing what she loves to do. She is in charge of the Botanical Gardens where the box for “Letters to Cupid” is located. She loves the arid Trans-Pecos area of Texas where it takes toughness for people and plants alike to survive.

When Pierce Hollister, the Cowboys quarterback who is sidelined with a broken leg, returns to Cupid to see his father and brother Malcolm, all the long-ago high school hoopla surfaces as Lace’s extended family and friends recall and elaborate on every painful moment Lace lived through back then.

Somewhere along the way from high school to becoming a pro, Pierce bought into his own press and now accepts the accolades and hero worship with equanimity. However, there is a niggling deep inside him that nags—will his leg ever heal so he can be at the top of his game like he had been before? He is Cupid’s local celebrity and his father’s favorite son; a fact that makes for strained feeling between Pierce and his younger brother Malcolm. Their relationship makes an attention-getting side story.

When Piece sees the grownup Lace, his old friend’s little sister that was off-limits to him in high school because of that unspoken male code of ‘don’t hit on your friend’s sister’. Now that the code no longer applies, he turns on the charm which Lace vows to ignore. As the ‘mating dance’ ebbs and flows with all the people of Cupid putting in their two cents, the reader gets quite an emotional rollercoaster ride.

I struggled a little with the over abundance of secondary characters, but the sparkling metaphors, analogies, etc. make the reading delightful. Expressions like: “spunk of a chipmunk”, “you can’t push a river”, ‘wants to devour him like a starving hawk moth caterpillar devours a tomato plant”, eyes like blue gas flames”, “lit her up like a match to gasoline” and so many more show the reader so much about the action, the emotions and the characters. Also, the threads of humor, fun, illness, and long-lasting emotional wounds, along with that strong, enduring thread of love that generates some super love scenes make the design of this tale captivating. Good entertainment!

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