With lively prose, unforgettable characters, and a touch of mischievous wit, Fern Michaels creates vivid reading experiences in all of her acclaimed USA Today and New York Times bestselling novels. Now, she inspires and entertains with a touching tale of the transforming power of love -- and a woman whose broken heart finds more room for the simple pleasures of family and home, and for discovering true love in the last place she expected.
Darby Lane and Russell Gunn had been inseparable friends from their early years in the Horseshoe, their wonderful Baton Rouge neighborhood of Southern comforts and childhood fancies, all the way through to graduate-school dreams and beyond. Then the unthinkable happens: a tragic accident takes Russ's life, and Darby's world is shattered. Returning to the Horseshoe in utter despair, Darby clings to the only family she's ever known: the three wily and colorful aunts who raised her.
Her long journey to healing takes hold as Darby begins to see Russ's brother Ben through new eyes. Suddenly love blooms in the place of grief, and now, with the help of her aunts, Darby faces the challenge of reuniting Ben with his estranged father -- if they can get through the conniving schemes of Ben's social climber stepmother. Calling on the same tender care and patience with which she builds custom dollhouses, Darby begins to create a new life out of her loss -- and comes to understand that love truly can conquer anything.
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April 04, 2006
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Excerpt from Hey, Good Looking by Fern Michaels
The houses on Thornberry Lane near the outskirts of Baton Rouge were always the main draw on the Historical Tour for tourists. No one could explain why or how a cul-de-sac with just five houses could be called a lane or why, since it was outside of the town's historic district, it was on the tour. Some speculated it was because the Lane family owned three of the houses on Thornberry Lane. Others said it was because it was like an oasis, with each house sitting on a full acre of land with an enormous bed of flowers in the middle. Whatever it was, everyone in Baton Rouge agreed Thornberry Lane was the most beautiful sight they'd ever seen.
Gawkers and tourists aside, Baton Rougies, as some referred to themselves, were loyal to three of the inhabitants of Thornberry Lane. Not so to the inhabitants of the two houses on the end that belonged to the Gunn family. Outsiders, they said, nouveau riche, others said. The truth was that when Marcus Gunn was finally on the verge of being accepted by the Rougies, thanks to the Lane sisters, he up and married his second wife, Bella. The Rougies and the Lane sisters closed ranks, and it was a greased downhill slide for Marcus Gunn and his new wife. The Junior Leaguers, along with the members of the Garden Club, Historical Society, and Rotary sniffed that Bella's shady past -- which they were convinced included an out-of-wedlock child, something no amount of digging and searching could prove -- her bleached hair, her pancake makeup, her faux jewelry, not to mention her hoity-toity attitude, would be a disgrace to the Rougies. And, the Rougies whispered, she was twenty-five years younger than Marcus, which could mean only one thing. Bella was a gold digger and after Marcus's money, of which there was plenty. She was no stepmother to Marcus's three children, they said. Wicked stepmother was more like it, they hissed among themselves after they said over and over, "Those poor children; thank God for the Lane sisters and the love they showed the children."
The Lane sisters could attest to that fact, and they did, every chance they got. They fed and took care of the three children as much as was allowed. Bella didn't care as long as they weren't, as she put it, under her feet.