High school teacher Natalie Quackenbush’s life is not going exactly as she’d planned. She followed her parents out to Arizona following a bad breakup, and although the plan was for her to stay with them only as long as it took her to get on her feet again, she’s been there for so long her parents don’t bother asking when she’s leaving anymore. Her students refuse to do any work, and the highlight of her days is going to happy hour with her best friend to make up crazy stories to tell the guys they meet.
Following a particularly humiliating blind date, Natalie finds herself talking to a handsome man at the bar. Without even realizing what she’s doing, she’s made up an entire alternate life for herself. Instead of being a high school teacher, she teaches literacy at the nearby prison. Yes, she lives with her parents, but it’s only to help take care of her mother with Alzheimer’s, which her mother doesn’t really have. What Natalie thought would be just another one of her crazy story sessions turns into something more when she finds herself becoming attracted to this perfect stranger. When he returns her feelings and a relationship starts to coalesce, all Natalie can think about are the lies she told when they first met. How long can Natalie keep the truth from him? What will happen to their romance once he finds out?
Carol Snow does a wonderful job creating realistic, likable characters. Natalie is genuinely flawed, and readers can’t help but like her for it. In another’s hands the lying plotline might have backfired, making the liar unlikable to the reader, but here Snow engages the reader so that we want Natalie to come clean but understand why she’s hesitant. I sincerely hope that Carol Snow’s debut book, Been There, Done That, is as much fun as her sophomore effort. If so, I’m sure I’ll be waiting on pins and needles for her next release.