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The Trouble with Tommy

the Gonzales Series, Prequel 2

Widowed Carrie Pierce heads home to the Mississippi Gulf Coast on the eve of her thirtieth birthday, determined to make a success of her new candy store. She has no interest whatsoever in men, especially not her neighbor Tommy Lucas, the auto mechanic with a past no one is ready to forget.

 

But Tommy and his coon dog Skywalker share a mutual sweet tooth, not to mention a fascination with the lovely caterer next door. Unfortunately, Skywalker's efforts to ingratiate himself, as well as Tommy's attempts to convince Carrie that he is a "new man" and set an example for his younger employee only create more tension.

 

As Valentine's Day approaches, Tommy sets in motion a commonsense plan to assist Carrie in making a success of her new business—and manages to a) convince her that he is courting another woman, b) gift her with a catering truck that looks like a "flamingo pink toaster on wheels," and c) ruin an entire batch of candy destined for his best friend's wedding. Meanwhile, Carrie slowly heals from her disastrous marriage to a man who had expected her to put her faith on a back burner in the interest of upward mobility. Still not quite trusting her own emotions, determined to listen to God's leading this time, (and receiving wildly conflicting advice from members of her large family) she resists giving her heart to the younger, somewhat impulsive Tommy.

 

Day by day, she watches him give himself away to others, demonstrating an abandoned joy as irresistible as it is frightening. When their comical romantic dance leads to one last confrontation, Tommy and Carrie must both decide whether the vulnerability of commitment is worth the risk of permanent heartache.