- Jennifer Zane
- Release Date
- February 2012
- Book 1 of The Gnome Novel Series
Contemporary Romance, Romantic Comedy
Once you get the zing you can't go back. Jane West has everything a woman could want. A job in a small Montana town's only adult store, two busy young boys and one dead husband. Everything except a little excitement--a little zing. But that changes one summer morning at a garage sale when her kids buy some garden gnomes. Now someone wants those gnomes and will let nothing get in their way. Including Jane. This new excitement for Jane spells trouble for a relationship with new neighbor--and hot fireman--Ty Strickland. Can Jane and Ty handle a relationship meddling mother-in-law, crazy kids, and stay alive while trying to solve the mystery of the garden gnomes?
Jan 19, 2013 [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
129 people found the following review helpful
Uproariously funny, steamy and delightfully inventive, Jennifer Zane's GNOME ON THE RANGE is a perfect antidote to the predictability of real life that I loved from start to finish.
Jane West has the distinction of working in the only adult toy store in her small Montana town with her mother-in-law. Thankfully, they share a terrific relationship, especially since the death of Jane's philandering husband. Now, her life consists of her job and taking care of her two precocious sons; a fulfilling life, to be sure, but Jane can't help but wish for a little more excitement.
She gets it in spades when she meets her local fireman—and hot new neighbor—Ty Strickland. Not only is he absurdly attractive, he is terrific with her kids, as well. He's even willing to tolerate her kids and their newfound adoration for a pair of garden gnomes they found at a local garage sale…But someone else wants those garden gnomes, and is willing to do anything at all in order to get them back. Will Jane and Ty's attraction survive her zany family and friends? And will they be able to uncover the secret the garden gnomes are hiding before it's too late?
Jane is a terrific narrator—quick and observant with a snappy dry wit that fills each scene with humor. Her strength is admirable, especially after all she went through in the course of her marriage, and her relationships are strong and add a great depth to her as a character.
Ty has all the qualities of an alpha hero, but is smart enough to know the Jane isn't the kind of woman who appreciates being led. There was never a doubt that he was ready and willing to protect Jane and her children, but he has a heart light enough to appreciate the magic of pancake breakfasts and the fun to be had in blaring the horn of a fire engine loud enough to wake the dead. His struggles with Jane to find a kind of equilibrium in their relationship made for some of the best scenes in the book. Both are strong, stubborn and thoroughly used to being self-reliant, and the tension between them as the garden gnome mystery grew ever more perilous was tangible. Thankfully, the attraction between them is powerful, and every scene only makes that chemistry more explosive.
The mystery itself wasn't terribly complicated, but the twists and turns the story took were quite fun, and there were enough surprises to keep me flipping pages eagerly. The crimes and the villains out to silence Jane and her family were parts of the cruel reality that grounded the story, and made some of the more absurd elements involved seem that much funnier.
As a fan and collector of garden gnomes myself, I was drawn to Jennifer Zane's book purely by the title. I stayed with it because her writing is light and engaging, her sense of humor is wonderfully quirky, and her characters are so fascinating that I couldn't turn away. I was thrilled when I realized that this book is but the first in a growing series, because I know I'll be reading the rest, and no doubt laughing out loud just as frequently!
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