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Review by Tanya
An adopted young woman, Natalie, who works in a thrift shop, happens to come across a box containing a dress and a photo album. The album contains photos of a young woman taken a while ago. Natalie is surprised that she and the lady in question have the exact same distinguishable shaped nose. She also finds letters addressed to Nancy Carlyle with a local address on it. Turning up at the house introduces Natalie to Casey, an Irish Texan man, who is a lot of women’s dream guy and he certainly likes flirting. A great friendship develops between them, which is full of banter and closeness that only a true friendship can bring. Undeniably there is an attraction there, but neither seems willing to act on it.
The two main characters in this book are fantastic and I think they bring out the best in each other. They immediately bond and turn out to have a lot in common; they soon become very good friends that are there to support each other in times of need. However, it takes a while before they open up about their past to each other, which I find shows how far their relationship has moved on.
I really wanted Natalie to be successful in her search for her mother and eagerly awaited the next clue in the story to see if it would lead up the right path. The support that she gets from her adoptive parents is impressive and you can see that they just want what is best for her. You can also tell that Natalie loves them dearly. Besides reading about Natalie's supportive family I loved the introduction to Rockabilly, it’s a mixture between blues, country and fifties pop with a punk rock edge. It is a big theme through the book and opens up new experiences for Natalie.
This is the first book by Chelsey Krause that I have read and it will not be the last. It was so good that I finished it very quickly. The thorough research into adoption, the fire service and work in a thrift shop shows and makes the story really good. There are a couple of words that mean something different in British English than in the Canadian version of the language. I loved that there's joking about the meaning of words in different varieties of the English language. I highly recommend this charming book.
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About Chelsey Krause
Chelsey Krause has a thing for thrift stores and used bookshops. A nurse, wife, Starbucks addict, and mom to two children, she can often be found repurposing other people’s junk or considering whether the library would let her move in. The rest of the time, she’s reviewing for Chicklit Club or writing. All Shook Up is her second novel.
The next morning, a bright, sunny day, I roll out of bed and shrug on a pair of cropped beige tights and a spring dress. By ten thirty, I’m waiting outside of Casey’s house. I’m about to knock on the door when it swings open. Casey is standing there, a crooked smile showcasing one dimple.
And, oh dear God, he’s shirtless.
“Morning, stranger,” he says.
“Do you always answer the door half naked?”
“I just rolled out of bed. You’re lucky I have pants on.”
I feel a smile tugging on my lips. “Do you need a few minutes to get ready?”
He leans into the hallway and grabs a T-shirt and a set of keys off of a narrow table. “I’m good.” He bounds out of the house, and walks down the driveway to the backyard.
Casey turns and beckons me down the driveway. I follow him into a dark garage. Hmm. I sure hope he isn’t a serial killer.
I decide to linger in the doorway. “So, how long have you lived in Canada?”
“Since I was thirteen,” he says. “Why?”
“You still have an accent, so…”
He hits the garage door button, and an ancient motor and pulley system rattles to life. “We came over for Dad’s work. But we were from County Kerry, originally,” he says. “Very thick accents.”
I’m about to blurt out, “I love your accent,” but think better of it.
The garage door is finally up, and sunlight spills through the dusty air onto a very old, very sad looking blue truck.
“That’s your truck?”
He nods. “Isn’t she great?”
I examine the rust-bitten tailgate. It’s barely hanging on. It doesn’t even look road-worthy. “She’s okay.”
His eyes widen playfully and he places a hand on his chest. “You don’t like Old Blue? But this is a ’57 Chevy! It’s a classic!”
I wrinkle my nose.
Casey pats the hood affectionately. “There, there,” he stage-whispers. “She just needs to get to know you first. You have a great personality.”
He walks over to the passenger side and opens the truck door for me, and I look into the cab. It isn’t filthy, exactly. Everything just looks weathered. Cracked. Stained.
“I don’t mind driving my car.”
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