- Paperback: 244 pages
- Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 1 edition (March 30, 2014)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1497411041
- ISBN-13: 978-1497411043
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 12 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,824,752 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Much Ado in Montana Paperback – March 30, 2014
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From the Back Cover
Tim couldn't see that five years - or her bald, tattooed librarian - had changed Tara one bit. Her gray eyes still shot sparks, and she still had a line of malarkey a mile long.
She'd never been classically beautiful. Her features were too strong for that description. When Tim had been young and stupid, they'd always struck him as being perfect for her quick intelligence, even when she'd used it to aim snarky barbs at him. Her mouth, though, was another story. Her mouth was a work of art, wide and pink and soft, and it brought back unwanted memories that didn't involve snark or barbs. She'd left it unpainted tonight, the way he'd always liked it. He refused to wonder if bald and tattooed liked it that way, too.
The little he could see of her figure hadn't changed, either. He wondered, absently, if she would still fit against him as well as she had five years ago, and brought himself up sharply as he reached the bar.
The chances of him finding out if Tara Hillerman was still as desirable as he remembered in his fantasies were less than none. And if he was to maintain his sanity over the next few weeks while he figured out what had his mother so upset, he'd better remember that.
Too bad, though.
"Any microbrews, Charlie?" he shouted to the bartender over the noise.
"Got some Moose Drool -" The beefy man in the dirty apron turned around and beamed. He stretched out a huge damp paw. "Tim Swanson! Come home to take over your daddy's practice?"
Sighing inwardly, Tim shouted back the answer he knew he'd be repeating till his eyes crossed. Till he managed to escape back to Seattle. "Nope. Just visiting."
Charlie frowned. "Your dad said you were."
And so it begins, Tim thought ruefully, as he tried to explain over the racket to Charlie that, no, he hadn't changed his mind, that, yes, he'd just taken on a perfectly good position at Harborview Hospital in Seattle now that he was done with his residency, and, much as he liked the good people of Campbell, he didn't want to come back to the sticks to live. Or words to that effect.
It was going to be damned hard to keep explaining all this without hurting anyone's feelings.
About the Author
M.M. Justus used to live in a town a great deal like Campbell, Montana. Several of them, in fact.
She holds degrees in British and American literature and history and library science, and a certificate in museum studies. In her other life, she's held jobs as far flung as hog farm bookkeeper, music school secretary, professional dilettante (aka reference librarian), and museum curator.
Her other interests include quilting, gardening, meteorology, and the travel bug she inherited from her father. She lives on the rainy side of the Cascade mountains in Washington state.
Please visit her website and blog at mmjustus.com, on Facebook at facebook.com/M.M.Justusauthor and on Twitter @mmjustus.
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Top customer reviews
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No spoilers here: there are three storylines in this book. Dr. Timothy Swanson is returning to his small Montana hometown for his father’s 75th birthday party. His father’s practice is the only medical care in town, and all he really wants is for his son to take over the practice. His son, on the other hand, has just signed on to a successful urban practice in Seattle and has no intention of changing his plans. Tara Hillerman, his former girlfriend, returned home after college to become the community librarian. She can’t believe that Tim has returned for his father’s birthday, and she’s going to shred him with her sharp tongue. Isn’t she? Her best friend, shy Rebecca Thorstein, is engaged to Tim’s best friend, paleontologist Jack Rasmussen, so they’re taken care of. Right? Or is a mistake going to be made that will cause a rift? How will it all turn out? You might be surprised. First chances, second chances, and a little courage will be needed. Very likable characters and a believable plot will pull you right in.
I had the pleasure of speaking to MM Justus several weeks ago as she was prepping to release her latest book - Much Ado in Montana. She offered me an ARC in exchange for an honest review. My first question was "Is it smutty?" Her genuine reply ("It's not smutty by my standards -- there are several very short, very vanilla sex scenes, but that's it.") made me laugh. (as it happens the sex scenes actually aren't bad.) While it wasn't an epic read, it was heart-warming and left me with a smile.
This is a sleepy book about a town in Montana with a single, aging doctor named Samuel. His son, Tim, is also a doctor but has no desire to move back "home" to take over the family practice. Tim and Tara were childhood sweethearts when things got messed up in college.
And now they're together in town for the first time in years.
Tim yanked her up until they were plastered together. And it wasn't enough. Nothing was going to be enough except being naked in bed together. Every night. Forever.
My main complaint about the book is that the first 40% of the book is background and history. I think I'd have enjoyed it more if it had been condensed a bit more. Some of it is absolutely necessary. We need to know that Tim loves Tara and Tara loves Tim but that a miscommunication (seriously, I need to make that a searchable tag or something!) split them apart. We also need to get to know the friends in the story so we care about them because they have their own B plot which is actually pretty good.
He couldn't help asking. "Is that why you came into my office and ravished me? To ask me to dinner?"
Truth be told, I think I was more invested in the B Plot between Jack and Rebecca. And I thought they made the better couple. Tara and Tim made me want to shake them. If they'd have just talked to each other, it would have been fine. And we never did really get a believable explanation about why Tim didn't explain the truth so many years ago. So, I wanted to smack them.
The big lesson in the book is about trust. It's shown in the romantic and familial relationships, but at the end, I never felt like Tara really trusted Tim. Jack and Rebecca seemed to get it. Tara and Tim, well, they're going to fight. A lot. Which maybe,, in the end, is what does make them perfect for each other.
All in all, it was a book that left me smiling. Some of it was bittersweet, but overall, I felt complete when it was done and content with the happily-ever-after.
"You're my heart, my soul, and my common sense."
Smut Factor: 3 stars- Not Bad
Character likability: 3 stars: Didn’t hate them.
Storytelling: 5 stars- I wake up thinking this really happened.
Writing and editing quality: 3 stars- A few errors, but nothing that took away from the story.
Tara hates the big city. She never felt that she belonged, in that big city college, and she hated her big city job. She hated when Tim broke her heart, all those years ago, and she's never forgiven him. She can't wait for him to leave, and when she meets him at that bar she needs a drink. And another drink. And then she doesn't want to drive drunk, and guess who's the only one left in the parking lot?
The problem with hating on your old girl/boyfriend is that you still remember how hot they were, and how much you loved each other. It doesn't help that Tim's best friend is marrying Tara's best friend, and the best enemies are expected to stand up as Best Man and Bridesmaid. In an overflow of true love, the two lovebirds decide that their old friends really need to hook up again, too. (Who hasn't noticed that soon-to-be-married folks like to share the love?) Tim's dad happily joins the conspiracy on Tim and Tara, hoping that his son will stay and join his small town medical practice.
Tim can't wait to leave, and Tara can't wait to see the back of him... though she doesn't seem to mind watching his backside as he goes. Then medical trouble and trouble in paradise throw Tim and Tara into working together, which forces them to work on their old issues. They still can't stand each other... and they're still hot for each other.
Is this romance going to end two people continuing their own lives, or in a double wedding? I couldn't tell, all the way to the last few pages.
Most recent customer reviews
by M. M. Justus
Much Ado in Montana. a novel by M M Justus, takes places in Campbell, Montana, a tight-knit small community.Read more