I’m an eclectic reader. I will read almost anything, even the back of cereal boxes if there’s nothing else. One component that really rocks my library is when an author has a sense of humor. I go along with Reader’s Digest on this: Laughter is the best medicine. (A quick net search doesn’t yield who originally coined the phrase but one of the closest is a quote by Henry Ward Beecher: Mirth is God’s medicine, so I’ll stick with good old Reader’s Digest on this one.) Anyway, that’s certainly a digression, but it leads me to Home Is Where Your Boots Are by Kalan Chapman Lloyd.
Home Is Where Your Boots Are is funny.While the formula of a small town with lovable eccentric characters and a feisty heroine has been done before, Chapman Lloyd gives it her own touch, Oklahoma style. The heroine, Lilly Atkins, left Brooks, Oklahoma to go to college. She then became a lawyer and then became engaged to wealthy Van Payton Ehlers the third of the Dallas Ehlers. When Lilly discovers her fiance boinking another woman, Lilly hears home calling and returns to her support system in Brooks.
But Lilly isn’t really licking her wounds. Deep down she suspected that Ehlers wasn’t right for her and the fact that she isn’t more upset doesn’t surprise her. It becomes even more apparent when Lilly encounters Cash, her old boyfriend.
Lilly’s feelings toward Cash are complicated. She acknowledges this. Her level of self-understanding is one thing I really like about this character. After reading so many books where the heroine is self-deluded or defiantly tough, it was the clichéd breath-of-fresh-air to meet Lilly Atkins. She has faults–an acknowledged weak stomach and a weakness for Cash; she has strengths–she’s smart and loyal; and she comes across as someone you really might meet, and even like.
As the community welcomes Lilly home, she decides that this is really what she needs and wants and decides to set up lawyering shop in Brooks. Immediately she gets embroiled in a mystery. And then there’s an encounter with the “hot” mysterious Yankee, Spencer Locke.
The story is pretty satisfying as is the quirky world that Chapman Lloyd has built. There are some wickedly funny lines and some philosophizing. For categorization, I would almost place this under the sub-genre of cozy mystery except that there is a touch of profanity, which is typically absent from those mysteries.
The narrative tone is conversational and sometimes on the verbose-side, a little paring down for comprehension-sake would not be unwanted. With that said, this novel definitely deserves sequels, which I hope are as good as this debut, which was first published in 2010 and then republished in 2015.
From Amazon: Home Is Where Your Boots Are
Rating: (4 out of 5 butterflies)