Trouble in Store by Carol Cox
Bethany House, 2013
*I received a free copy of this book from Bethany House in exchange for my honest review.*
When Melanie Ross is fired from her governess position, she doesn’t know where to go. She has one option: go to Arizona and claim her inheritance of her cousin’s mercantile.
When she arrives and meets Caleb Nelson, they get off on the wrong foot. Caleb is convinced that he inherited the mercantile, and he doesn’t like the changes Melanie is bringing to the store.
What is his solution? Marry her off to one of the single men in town and be rid of her. But, as Melanie and Caleb continue to spend their time together, running the store, will they ever stop disagreeing and find common ground?
Aptly named, Trouble in Store is true to its title. There is plenty of trouble going on at the Cedar Ridge Mercantile. Mysterious notes, tampering with store products, and unexplained deaths plague the owners of the mercantile. Assumptions are made and rumors fly as the mystery surrounding the mercantile goes unsolved. Will Melanie and Caleb discover who is causing all this trouble?
This mystery and intrigue occurs in the midst of Melanie arriving in town and trying to settle in as rightful owner of half of the mercantile. Her unexpected arrival turns Caleb’s life upside-down when she claims the mercantile as belonging to her. To say they butt heads would be an understatement. They have conflicting ideas on how to successfully run the store, and they have a difficult time getting along. Both are stubborn characters, bent on doing things their own way.
I had a difficult time being drawn into the story, as Melanie’s character rubbed me the wrong way, and I felt like there were plot holes, where previous conversations were referenced that the reader did not witness. Also, scenes that I thought would be important to the storyline were not included in the plot, but were assumed to have happened, as they were referred to later on in the novel. However, this book is a light, enjoyable read with intrigue and a dash of romance. I enjoyed reading about the daily life and activity of the mercantile and enjoyed this quaint and charming setting.
Rating: 3 stars