Love, Life, and the Pursuit of Happiness
by Sandra Hill
June 25, 2019
Welcome to Bell Cove, North Carolina. Independence Day may have just passed in this small Outer Banks town known for its famous bells, but one ex-Navy SEAL has a declaration of his own to make . . .
Merrill Good knows there are many different kinds of exciting. There’s the adrenaline rush he experienced during his years in the military. There’s the thrill of starting up his own treasure hunting company. But topping them all is the surge of exhilaration he feels every time Delilah Jones crosses his path. Smart, voluptuous, and outspoken, Delilah is a bombshell with a secret that could explode at any moment.
Since Delilah moved to Bell Cove to take over her great-uncle’s Elvis-themed diner and motel, the locals have been nothing but friendly. And that’s a problem. The moment someone gets close enough to figure out her ex-con past, her future will be jeopardized. But keeping Merrill at arm’s length isn’t easy when the rest of her body has other ideas.
Add to the mix Delilah’s little girl who fashions herself “Little Orphan Annie,” a former showgirl grandmother with a gambling problem, a whole town full of quirky matchmakers, and there’ll be fireworks long after the Fourth of July . . .
SASCHA DARLINGTON’S REVIEW
Where does a woman find a Merrill Good of her very own? That’s what I want to know. To say that I became infatuated with the caring, rational, studly, handsome, thoughtful, planning, geeky Merrill would be an understatement. He’s the type of guy most smart women want to meet and fall in love with. Fortunately, I liked Delilah, the vulnerable ex-con as well, so it was all good.
In Love, Life, and the Pursuit of Happiness, Sandra Hill has written a novel that is fun, sexy, heart-warming, snarky, and just filled with so much feeling of every sort that you are just swished away into lovely emotions, much like being on a beach vacation despite lacking the actual proximity to a beach.
Every part of this novel worked for me. I loved the way that, although it’s written in third person, Hill has allowed her characters’ thoughts to drift into the prose, which is so, so good and frequently so funny. And Hill has never met a double entendre that she hasn’t liked and I am so onboard with that!
“If I’d known she looked like that, I would have dropped my anchor next to her bed,” Gus said, staring at her butt in the tight shorts.
“If you had, she probably would have shot your anchor off,” Kevin remarked.
Again the town of Bell Cove is shown to be welcoming and quirky as we saw in book one of the series, The Forever Christmas Tree, which I review back in September of last year. Fortunately, Hill acknowledges that a reader might come to her series in the middle (or the second book) and has made Love, Life, and the Pursuit of Happiness very much a standalone. I understand that Merrill Good has been a character in many of her novels…why have I only discovered Sandra Hill in the past year?! So I may just go back so that I can read about the mighty fine, wonderful, and oh-so-smart Merrill through the years. (Yep, you can keep your stupid bad boys as long as I get intelligent sexy ones 😉 .)
I seem to have become fixated on Merrill in this review, but I just want to mention that there are so many lovely and funny and eccentric characters in Love, Life, and the Pursuit of Happiness. Maggie, Delilah’s little girl, is a manipulative princess, in the best sense 😉 and, man, does she want a dog, which I can fully get behind; Delilah’s grandmother is a gambling, vaping, former showgirl hoot; Charlie from Looziana hides herself in nondescript clothes but has attitude and sex appeal.
And, let’s not forget cinnamon rolls. Delilah makes cinnamon rolls of many flavors thave will have your mouth watering.
My only gripe is that I expected some rationale as to why Delilah had become an ex-con. I expected something more, wanted something more, and I’m wondering if that had somehow gotten overlooked in all of the romance and fun.
Regardless, I am so looking forward to reading more in this series.
If you like funny, sexy novels with a little bit of snark, I highly recommend Love, Life, and the Pursuit of Happiness. The setting is one of my favorite places in the world: OBX.
I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
4 butterflies and a ladybug out of 5 butterflies
Tour Wide Giveaway
To celebrate the release of LOVE, LIFE, AND THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS by Sandra Hill, we’re giving away a paperback copy of The Forever Christmas Tree by Sandra Hill to three lucky winners!
GIVEAWAY TERMS & CONDITIONS: Open to US shipping addresses only. Three winners will each receive a paperback copy of The Forever Christmas Tree by Sandra Hill. This giveaway is administered by Pure Textuality PR on behalf of Avon Books. CLICK HERE TO ENTER!
About the Author
SANDRA HILL is a graduate of Penn State and worked for more than ten years as a features writer and education editor for publications in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Writing about serious issues taught her the merits of seeking the lighter side of even the darkest stories.