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Connecticut River Valley, New England, United States

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Women Cannot Run the Show? We'll See Grandpa!

House of Dads (Hillary Broome Novels, Book 2)House of Dads by June Gillam
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

When I won this Goodreads giveaway the author was kind enough to send me the first book in the series, The House of Cuts. I read that one first and reviewed it, favorably. This time round is no exception--the heroine, Hillary Broome, is a likeable 30 something journalist whose father has died and whose mother deserted them when she was a young girl. She has had a couple of failed relationships, made a huge error in judgment while a journalism student at Columbia ( the possible revelation of which by one of those past boyfriends keeps her up at night) and has returned home to the California valley in which she grew up. She is working for an old classmate at a small local newspaper and teaching part time at the local community college.

In the first installment, while reporting on a big box grocery chain in the area she becomes embroiled in the gruesome deeds of a meticulous butcher of a serial killer and meets the lead detective on the case. He, Ed Killian, has lost a child to a hit and run and his wife has taken his other daughter and moved to the East coast, where she divorced him and severed all relationship. He is trying to give up cigars and to convince his rather obese partner, Walt, to eat less and more healthfully. By the end of that book, Ed and Hillary are engaged, Hillary has become friends with the elderly widow of one of the victims and Walt is still a glutton.

In this new book, House of Dads, Hillary has become closer to her father's family--the Broomes of Broome Construction. They are major developers of tract houses and are riding the bubble of easy mortgages and massive development. The head of the company has died and his son, Ted is in line to assume control. The Irish founder of the firm had three sons--Hillary's two uncles and her father, whom he'd disowned as being undeserving since he had no interest in the company. As a result, Hillary is not terribly close to her cousins though she is in attendance, with Ed, at her uncle's funeral. It is during the after funeral reception that Ted keels over and dies. Although, grandfather Pat had long ago decreed that only men can be in charge of the business, there are no male heirs available, so the job falls to Ted's sister, Violet.

So begins the mystery of what caused Ted's death, how Violet will withstand her mother's threat of adopting a son to prevent Violet's control, Violet's rush to become pregnant--with luck, carrying a boy--Hillary's apprehension at possibly marrying Ed too fast, her anxiety at having a family to which to belong. The strands of the tale weave and run and in the end all comes clear, Ed and Hillary marry in a delightful side romp, and the reader is left with the happy anticipation of the next adventure which will take place on Ed and Hillary's honeymoon in Ireland.

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