Reviewed by Sheryl Root
You Had Me At Goodbye by Tracey
"...Tracey creates heroines that are the perfect blend of spunk, foibles, vulnerability and strength."
Tracey Bateman has a gift for magically transporting a reader into her stories. By the time I finish the first chapter, I'm completely engaged in her characters' lives. Whether it's novelist and divorced single-mom Claire Everett in her Claire series, or soap opera star Tabby Brockman in the first Drama Queens book, Catch a Rising Star, Tracey creates heroines that are the perfect blend of spunk, foibles, vulnerability and strength.
I finished You Had Me At Goodbye, second in the Drama Queens series, in a little over a day, finding all other scheduled tasks much less important than finishing this book. The series revolves around Tabby, Dancy and Laini, best friends and roommates in New York City who share each other's hopes, dreams, and disappointments as they try to work out their lives.
You Had Me at Goodbye is Dancy's story. Dancy lives and breathes for her job as editor at Lane Publishing. When her promised promotion to senior editor goes instead to hunky Jack Quinn, her brother's best friend from college, with his oh-so-charming English accent, Dancy is determined not to let her personal attraction for Jack get in the way of her professional ambition.
But when a temporary leave of absence becomes not so temporary, Dancy, the work-a-holic, finds herself at a loss with what to do with her time. She needs to edit like some people need their first cup of coffee in the morning. Helping out at her friend Nick's coffee bar while he is short-staffed gives her some purpose, but is God really calling her to be a coffee barista? Or is this the incentive she needs to finally finish her novel?
As if her professional problems weren't enough to deal with, she also has her very rich and dysfunctional family. Mom and Dad, who have lived apart for years because of her father's roaming eye, have decided to get back together again. Worse than that, they are giving her beloved childhood home, a Fifth Avenue condo, to her brother Kale for his wedding present. Kale, who wants to move to the country and leave the city! He doesn't even care about the condo … not like Dancy does. How fair is that?
As Dancy learns to put Proverbs 3:5-6, her new life verse, into practice, she finds herself in situations that challenge her trust in the Lord's guidance. Can it ever be possible for her life, like that of her novel's heroine, to have a storybook ending?
Tracey creates great chemistry and romantic tension between Dancy and Jack. My heart plummeted with every misunderstanding between them while I kept anxiously turning the pages to see if they would ever get things right! And, let me say, few can build up to a much-awaited first kiss like Tracey does.
But it's not just the main characters that are written with such depth and caring. Dancy's father could have been very unlikable. Instead, Tracey shows his human failures while at the same time revealing the good, but misguided intentions behind them. I found myself seeing him as Dancy does—frustrated when he lets her down but continuing to love him all the same.
I can't think of a better investment of my time than settling down with one of Tracey's books, as I always come away entertained and encouraged. The final book in the Drama Queens series, That's Not Exactly Amore, Laini's story, will be released this summer and is going to the top of my summertime reading list!
Sheryl Root is Partner Database Manager at OneHope, a non-profit organization whose mission is to reach every child with God’s Word. She’s also a writer and a reader of everything she can get her hands on … books, blogs, magazines. In other words, she’s both a data geek and a book nerd. She loves to be able to support Christian authors and spread the word on great books and is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, a wonderful community of published and yet to be published writers. You can follow her on Twitter at @Sheryl_Root.