False Start by Barbara Valentin
Publisher & Release: Gemma Halliday Publishing, October 15, 2014
Time and setting: Present Day, Chicago
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Heat Level: 1 Sweetheart
Rating: 5 Gold Crowns
Mattie Ross is probably the last person who should be doling out good counsel to anyone on anything. Still smarting after being left at the altar two years earlier, she is strapped with debt, has sworn off men, routinely buries herself in her work and despite her well-proportioned figure, remains haunted by childhood taunts of "Fatty Mattie." But to her publisher at the Chicago Gazette, and readers, she is their latest advice columnist, The Plate Spinner, a self-assured working parent to adorable fake children and multi-tasking savant.
Enter Nick Derosa, the twin brother of Mattie's cold-footed fiancé who is trying to get back on his feet after his brother steals his identity and implicates him in an illegal investment scheme. But thanks to Nick's legendary running career, the publisher of the Chicago Gazette proposes a wager: If Nick can train an out-of-shape working parent in time to compete in the Chicago Marathon, he will contribute enough to help Nick launch his own non-profit running club for kids.
Suddenly "Fatty" Mattie and Nick are thrust together as the most unlikely of pairs and under a deadline to put their trust issues aside and avoid another false start in their lives.
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I received a request from Wendy Rich Stetson to listen to her latest recording. False Start is not my usual type of book, but since I have loved all the other books that Ms. Stetson has sent me, I did not hesitate. Wow! I’m so glad I did. Not only did I get to listen to another excellent narration, False Start is an awesome book!
Mattie Ross is left at the altar with a ton of debt for a wedding that never happened. She takes a position as an advice columnist at the Chicago Gazette. She has sworn off men and buries herself in her column, The Plate-Spinner.
When her publisher decides she needs to run a marathon and even hires her a personal coach, none other than Nick Derosa, her ex-fiance’s twin brother, she reluctantly agrees. But, how does an out-of-shape, supposedly overworked parent become fit for the challenge?
Nick and Mattie are thrown together and work toward a common goal. Can they unite to achieve that goal, and fall in love along the way?
False Start is fast-paced and kept me enthralled from the first page until the last. This book is very thought provoking and filled with all kinds of positive messages wrapped up in a delightfully funny story. False Start had me rooting for Mattie, hoping she could achieve her overwhelming goal and even find love along the way.
Mattie’s character is truly inspiring. This was a perfect book for me to read since I really need to keep active. I was doing great, but life has a way of throwing in curve balls to interfere. I’m hoping I can use Mattie’s character as an example to jump start me again. If Mattie can do it, anyone can make the life-style changes that will improve one’s quality of life. Mattie is so optimistic and determined, a character to truly admire.
Nick’s character is also inspiring. Even though, he was dealt a huge blow when he was arrested because his twin assumed his identification for his criminal activities, he does not let it get him down. He is determined to succeed with the opportunity given him. While he starts out helping Mattie because of the money, he truly wants her to achieve her goal and devotes his time and energy to help her make it happen.
I listened to the narration by Wendy Rich Stetson. She gives a stellar performance as I have grown to expect. She truly brings the characters to life. Her ability to give each character their own distinct voice is astonishing. She is one of the most talented narrators I’ve had the pleasure of listening to, and I listen to a lot of audio books.
If you are looking for a book that will lift your spirits and help you find inner-strength, then False Start is the perfect book for you. I highly recommend this book and the narration by Wendy Rich Stetson. Happy reading!