Small Town Girl

LaVyrle Spencer, Author
LaVyrle Spencer, Author Putnam $23.95 (364p) ISBN 978-0-399-14249-9
Reviewed on: 12/30/1996
Release date: 01/01/1997
Make room on bestseller lists for Spencer's latest heart-warmer about unlikely romance, this time between country-western star Tess McPhail and her old schoolmate Kenny Kronek, formally ""a dork of the highest magnitude,"" now an accountant. When her older sisters demand that she spend four weeks in Wintergreen, Mo., helping their mother recover from hip-replacement surgery, Tess blows into town with a chip on her shoulder, expecting to be treated like the star she is. But Kenny, who lives across the alley and faithfully cares for Tess's mom, isn't at all impressed. Tess scornfully dubs him St. Kenny, but she can't help adoring his daughter, Casey, a teenage tomboy with a gravelly singing voice. The girl helps Tess write a song about the difficulties of returning home, while Kenny continues to annoy with his constant good deeds--that is, until Tess at last notes that Kenny is disturbingly attractive. When it's time to return to Nashville, she realizes she loves him. Easily resolving the quandary of how a small-town mortal might fit into a superstar's life, Spencer promotes Kenny to the position of Tess's money manager. In an ending that is pure fantasy, everybody's dreams come true--including those of the phenomenally talented and lucky Casey. Light on plot, and lacking a dashing romantic hero (Kenny is nicey-niceness personified), this novel succeeds on Spencer's talent for making the inevitable entertaining. Literary Guild main selection; Reader's Digest Condensed Book. (Mar.)
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