4 STARS: "Dear Ms. Court, It was the excerpt that you sent us for this book that made me want to read it. Mainly because when Becca enters the hometown bar she used to work in, I immediately knew she has working class roots and a no nonsense attitude. Dukes and billionaires are fine in measured doses but I enjoy seeing Everywoman and Everyman getting a shot at love too. When I saw how long the book is, or rather how short it is, I wondered about how much depth we’d be talking about here. Hit the high points? Delve a bit deeper? Really cover all the bases? Well let’s just say that – speaking in terms of Red Sox baseball – that it was at least a 3 base hit. It’s sweet, funny, and also poignant with two flawed but basically likeable main characters backed by lots of secondary characters who became individuals and not just cardboard movie theater cutouts. Alex and Becca fall in love quickly and while there is instant physical attraction, I felt that they fell far beyond that. As Becca thinks in wonder, Alex has seen all her flaws and he still wants to be with her. She doesn’t have to be perfect like her engaged friend was trying to be. She can relax, deal with her quirks and know that Alex has her back. Alex is a touch more perfect but still not a Marty Stu. Maybe he leaves wet towels lying around or something. But given the neatness of his room probably not. Anyway, he’s an average Joe, hardworker, caring, and not afraid to let Becca know how he feels. Okay I’m trying to remember a real character flaw and coming up blank right now but he doens’t come off as too wonderful the way some book characters do. Speaking of the secondary characters, I hope that you have some concrete plans for them. Obvious sequel bait usually annoys me but these people are baked into this plot instead of being useless radish garnish. I want to see them happy and that says a lot to me. One thing I liked is that Becca isn’t forced into pratfalls just for laughs at her expense. She can do some groaners like show up downstairs in the morning in a T-shirt and no shorts in front of Alex but she has enough chutzpah not to care and then brazen it out. And the book is sexy without constantly harping on sex. Plus Alex was a lit grad student so he can woo with words, ace the girl by offering to loan her books and can talk. And he’s hot. The guy talk sounds a lot more realistic than in many books I’ve read and the pre-wedding wild barbeque party is an event to remember. Rescuing Love is fast and fun but with surprising depth. And it’s taught me that you never mess with Massachusetts women." -- Jayne, Dear Author
Becca Lynch took a deep breath, pushed open the wooden door, and stepped into the bar that time forgot. The Whaler was still working the same old decor consisting of beat-up, wooden booths and wobbly tables, with walls sporting tangles of nets and even a few harpoons. The same rock music crackled out of the ancient speakers, only now it was classic instead of contemporary. Although over three years had passed since she’d last stepped foot in the Whaler, it felt as though she should grab an apron and start clearing tables. And, for the first time since she hopped in her ancient Honda Civic ten hours ago and fled D.C., her shoulders lowered.
The crowd was decent for a Wednesday night in season. Summer on Cape Cod meant a mix of resentful locals, mostly fisherman of the bearded variety, juxtaposed with tourists sporting madras plaid and ironic whale belts. Of the two, Becca preferred the fishermen. They might bust the place up in the occasional drunken brawl, but they wouldn’t be looking down their noses at people when they did it.
Her fingers twitched as the craving for a cigarette descended, despite the fact she was a non-smoker, for the third time this month. She smoothed her button-down shirt back into the waistband of her skirt and maneuvered through the crowd toward the scarred wooden bar. Behind it, Kirsten was pulling a pint and talking smack to a male customer sporting a besotted smile. She slid him a beer with too much head. Women who looked like Kirsten could be terrible bartenders but still make bank in tips.
It took a moment for Kirsten to notice her, but the second Becca managed eye contact, a grin split Kirsten’s expressive face. She flew from around the bar.
“Becca! Why didn’t you tell me you were coming in tonight?” She grasped Becca in a hug. “I didn’t think you’d be here until Saturday for the bachelorette party.”
That had been the plan. But somehow, Becca had found herself in her car, speeding up I-95. She pulled back from Kirsten. “You know me, I like to keep it spontaneous,” she said.
“Bullshit,” Kirsten said. “You came out the womb clutching a day planner.” Kirsten made a waving motion over Becca. “You look like you came straight from work. Does Marc know you’re here?”
“No, I haven’t been able to get a hold of him. But you know my brother, he probably went diving and left his phone behind, or he’s holed up in his lab and just not checking messages.”
Kirsten grabbed her arm and pointed her to an empty barstool. “Sit your ass down. I’m going to make you a strong drink and me an even stronger one.” In a gentler voice, she added, “I’m glad you came early. It’ll give us a chance to catch up before we get swept up in Tiffany’s wedding madness.”
Becca was thankful she was only a bridesmaid, an out-of-town bridesmaid at that, and not the maid of honor like poor Kirsten. As Tiffany’s cousin and friend, Kirsten had been dealing with the brunt of the wedding mania.
Kirsten swept off and was back behind the bar throwing bottles around. Soon Becca found herself with a drink smelling suspiciously like paint thinner in front of her. “What is this?”
“I call it the bitch-tini,” Kirsten said and flipped her blonde ponytail.
Becca took a cautious sip. “Jesus!”
“You’ve got to have the ovaries for it,” Kirsten said. She picked up her drink and knocked back a ridiculous amount.
“I had ovaries, but your drink just shriveled them up,” Becca said.
A new customer sat down on the barstool to Becca’s right. It was one of the few empty ones left. There’d been a steady stream of people trickling in. He slanted her a quick smile before greeting Kirsten.
“What’ll it be, Alex?” Kirsten asked him with genuine friendliness. Becca shot the newcomer a covert glance. Nice profile. He was clean-shaven with super-short, sandy hair, so obviously not a fisherman. Kirsten knew him. That meant he wasn’t a tourist.
“Just a soda,” Alex said.
“You the designated driver tonight?” Kirsten scooped some ice in a glass and fired soda into it.
“Yeah, I should be on duty. But, I’ve got someone standing by for me because it’s Travis’s birthday. The other idiots should be along soon. I feel like I should apologize in advance for how drunk Travis is going to get.”
“Drunk Travis.” Kirsten gave a shudder as she slid the glass over. “Alex, this is Becca,” she said, as though it should mean something. She looked like she was about to say more but was distracted by a tourist down at the other end of the bar waving a twenty.
“Hey, blondie!” The tourist snapped his fingers while continuing to wave his money.
Kirsten’s head swiveled around. “He did not just do that.”
Once Kirsten departed to school the foolish tourist, Alex swiveled his barstool toward Becca. His face full on was even nicer than his profile, all high cheekbones and pretty green eyes. No wonder Kirsten liked him.
“Nice to meet you, Becca.” He held out his hand and gave her a smile, disarming in its sweetness. This guy was danger. Good thing she didn’t have either the time or the mental space for men these days.
Becca took his outstretched hand, conscious of the poor state of her ragged nails.
“Hi,” she said, and dropped his hand as quickly possible while still being polite. She turned back to the bar, grabbed her glass, and took a very unwise swallow. “Ughh,” she sputtered. Her face heated up, either from choking or embarrassment, most likely both. A coughing spasm made her bring her hand down on the bar with too much force for the fragile martini glass. It shattered. She turned her hand over to see a shard poking out of her palm. As she watched, dazed, blood oozed out.