“Why are all the best men taken?”
“Huh?” Amanda Burns looked up at her mother, who stood on the other side of the counter in her bicycle shop.
The former hippie chick shrugged and tossed her long, gray-sprinkled auburn hair over her shoulder. “I can’t find a decent man anymore. They’re either married or otherwise involved with someone.” She did an about-face and headed for the door. “Oh, well. It’s no big deal.”
“See you tomorrow?” Amanda said.
Her mother stopped just as she reached the door. “I almost forgot–that’s what I came in here to tell you. I’m leaving on a cruise in the morning, and I won’t be back for awhile.”
Amanda frowned. “Who are you going with?”
“Some friends. You don’t know them.”
Thus begins Love Finds You in Treasure Island, Florida. This is a relatively new series by Summerside Press which “gives readers a taste of local life across the United States. The novelsâ€”uniquely titled after actual American towns with quirky but intriguing namesâ€”inspire romance and fun. Each fictional story draws on the compelling history or the unique character of a real place. Stories center on romances kindled in small towns, old loves lost and found again on the high plains, and new loves discovered at exciting vacation getaways.”
In this installation author Debby Mayne writes about Amanda, the owner of a bike and surf shop in Treasure Island near St. Petersburg on Florida’s Gulf shore, who falls in love with Jerry Simpson, a man who’s brought his aging parents to the tourist town. His dad has early stages of Alzheimer’s and his mother has just been diagnosed with Parkinson’s, and Jerry, a devoted son, wants to make sure that they have the best possible holiday, going so far as to rent them a tandem bicycle from Amanda’s shop. Amanda, as you can see from the above opening snippet, knows what it’s like to have a non-average mother. She’s also acting mom to her younger sister Lacy and has no desire to fall in love–especially with a tourist. But Jerry’s parents have other plans, and it seems God, Jerry, and fate may be on the senior Simpsons’ side.
I enjoyed the naive meddling of this elderly couple into their son’s life (thankful it wasn’t MY life, of course!) and the glimpse of life in a Florida town. Mr. Simpson is certain that pirates have buried treasure somewhere nearby–else how did the island get its name?–but the real treasure turns out to be … (I guess you’ll have to read the book!)