Apr 22 2013 5:00pm

First Look: Donna Kauffman’s Honey Pie (April 30, 2013)

Honey Pie by Donna KauffmanDonna Kauffman
Honey Pie
Brava / April 30, 2013 / $14.00 print, $7.19 digital

When Honey D’Amourvell inherits property on tiny Sugarberry Island, she’s prepared to start a whole new life. Her plan is simple—make a home, open a shop, and maybe, finally, find a place to belong. But the building she now owns is leased to none other than the owner of Babycakes, which means her spot is already occupied. Honey isn’t sure how to put down roots when she has nowhere to plant them. But sexy, softhearted mechanic Dylan Ross seems determined to help. He’s everything she never imagined she would find in a man, and each kiss is more persuasive than the last…

Soon enough, Honey is another important ingredient in the spicy mix of the Cupcake Club. But will Dylan convince her that what she craves most is his love?

I like heroines who are both eccentric and neurotic, and Honey D’Amourvell, the leading lady of Honey Pie by Donna Kauffman, is definitely different. From her thick glasses and piercing green eyes to her hand-embroidered underwear, nothing about Honey is usual. Her whole life she has struggled with what she considers a curse—the ability to know other people’s past and future, both good and bad, as a result of the slightest physical contact. The poor woman’s a veritable hermit. After a failed attempt to find some semblance of a normal life at art school, she spent ten years living alone in a barn on her family farm in Juniper Hollow, Oregon. She calls herself “the equivalent of Juniper Hollow’s Fifth Horse of the Apocalypse.”

When her beloved Aunt Beavis, who was also “gifted,” passed away, she left her niece some property on Sugarberry Island, a tiny, close-knit community off the coast of Georgia. She also left her a letter that urged her to start her life over again with people who would accept her. She told her that “life is not meant to be lived in the shadows.” So Honey puts her farm up for sale, loads all of her earthly belongings into her VW Bug, and moves across the country with the dream of a normal life. She already owns a mail-order arts and crafts business, and she plans to use the property her aunt left her to open up a storefront.

Unfortunately, the move doesn’t exactly go as planned. Unbeknownst to Honey, her aunt gave her property to a leasing agency that rented the space out to some other newcomers in town, a baker and her celebrity chef husband who have begun to revitalize the tiny island economy. If Honey tried to kick them out, she wouldn’t exactly endear herself to the islanders. So she’s stuck between a rock and a hard place—no place to live on the island, no money, and no desire to go back to the isolated life she fled. Her longing for human contact and community is evident during the opening scene when she watches a group of happy women walk together into the shop that should have been hers to participate in a community baking club.

The real truth was, she wanted what the cupcake ladies had—community, partnership, family, and friends. The up close and personal kind. Watching them, knowing she was finally going to reach for what they had, the desire had become almost a physical ache. God, but she was lonely. Thriving business or no, communicating all day long with people via the phone or e-mail was a far cry from laughing, chatting, and baking in the same kitchen…together.

Honey, who has some genuine psychological issues as a result of her psychic abilities, might have thrown in the towel and fled town if not for Dylan Ross, the sexy, slightly curmudgeonly Southern hero who takes on Honey as his latest project. He starts with fixing her car and moves on to fixing her life. Not that he intends to get involved with her. Because of his own dysfunctional past, he craves isolation, and spends all of his time in his garage, on his boat, or with his dog. He’s drawn to Honey against his will, despite the fact that she freaks out whenever he touches her.

She locked up at his direct touch and had to clench her jaw to keep from screaming. It had been a very—very—long time since anyone had put their hands on her. She’d made damn sure of that. And though he probably already thought her a bit of a fruit loop, she didn’t much care at the moment. “Let me go,” she said—begged—almost strangling on the words.

Despite Honey’s eccentricities, Dylan is drawn to her, and she’s drawn to him. They’re two flawed individuals who find solace and acceptance in each other’s arms. Honey doesn’t just find love, though. She finds friends, community, and family. And that’s what makes Honey Pie a special story.

Learn more about or pre-order a copy of Donna Kauffman's Honey Pie before its April 30 release:

Buy at AmazonBuy at Barnes and NobleBuy at iTunes




Brittany is a freelance writer, aspiring novelist and small business owner who hopes that heaven will be like a bookstore with an endless supply of free books, free coffee and super comfy chairs.

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