Cornelia “Nell” Ambrose is happy to have kissed her past goodbye. True.
She’s worked hard to forge a new, normal life for herself as an attorney in Hazel Green. True
Nell is 100% happy on her own and not at all interested in getting serious with the town’s most eligible bachelor, Leo Pomeroy. Lie.
Mayor Leo Pomeroy has devoted his life to helping the people of Hazel Green and pleasing his prominent family—a family currently caught up in a political scandal. Though innocent, it’s up to Leo to restore their good name. He’s convinced Nell is the perfect woman to help him do that. Smart, beautiful, and kind, Nell has become a pillar of the Hazel Green community. While his parents caution she isn’t cut out to be a “political wife”, Nell is the only woman Leo wants by his side.
Leo’s parents aren’t the only ones with concerns. Nell has her own reasons for resisting her feelings for Leo. No one knows about her life prior to Hazel Green, and when shadows of that life suddenly reappear everything Nell has come to love could be in jeopardy. Revealing her most closely guarded secret could bring her one step closer to freedom—or cost her the one man she can’t do without.
One Fine Day, the first book in the Hazel Green series. I wondered why the attorney and the town mayor were having a secret relationship and when and how it would be revealed! Cindy Kirk brings the characters of Hazel Green to life with her descriptive voice and spot on dialogue. I adored Nell’s story and read it in one sitting.
Nell Ambrose is a child welfare attorney who enjoys bringing the character of Hazel Green, the town matriarch, to life at social events. Her make-up, wig and costumes transform Nell into her other persona who lived in the early 1900’s. I noticed that Nell shifts easily from Hazel to herself and she enjoys being someone else. Nell is a private person; Leo only knows a few vague details of Nell’s life before she came to Hazel Green. In contrast, Leo’s family life is an open book; he’s the mayor of Hazel Green and his father is a senator. He is used to being in the public eye. His life is an open book—Nell’s is not.
I loved reading Nell’s story. Cindy Kirk includes hints about Nell’s childhood throughout the novel and introduces her brother into the storyline seamlessly. As she falls in love with Leo, she tells him bits and pieces about her past. Nell realizes that she is in love with Leo and wants to open up to him but, she is keeping a secret or two from him. Nell and Leo decide to make their relationship public and they begin to attended social and political events together. Nell, Leo and Leo’s parents attend a town event where a photo of the four of them is posted on social media. Nell’s past is revealed because someone from her past recognizes her in the photo. Loved how Nell’s past connected to a present day scandalous political situation for the Pomeroy family. Many of the characters in the novel were impacted when Nell’s identity was revealed.
Cindy Kirk tackles several important issues in this novel; family values, secrets and trust. The reader gets a glimpse of political life and the importance of family from Marty and Tim Pomeroy. The secondary characters in the novel played important roles in Nell and Leo’s lives; each one added depth to the storyline. I am waiting to see what happens to Lilian, Marc and Dixon. Cindy Kirk’s descriptive writing and her honest dialogue makes her characters and their situations relatable. She is able to blend romance and political issues during the story. I was invested in Nell and Leo’s romance and knew he loved her without hesitation.
The suspenseful conclusion of One Step Away took me by surprise—in a good way. Loved the political intrigue piece of the story and its connection to many of the Hazel Green characters. Am looking forward to returning to Hazel Green soon!
Reviewed by Susan Gorman
Book Purchased through Amazon