A charming romantic comedy featuring a con artist, a poker game, a kidnapped chihuahua, and some shady business with a Ukrainian tycoon — all in small town Missouri, by an author who knows it well.
There’s little happening in the sleepy Midwestern town of Dawson Mills. It's the early 1970s and shops are closing, the economy’s in a rut, and the future seems bleak. Lehman Post and his wife, Violet, are bored with their mundane lives, but unable to break out of the rut. Lehman lavishes most of his attention on his beloved rose garden.
Once a year Lehman breaks from his routine for a week-long paint convention in Chicago. But there's another event on his agenda there: a gambling tournament. Unknown to his wife—or anyone else—Lehman is a professional poker player recognized in the gambling world as Rosy Jack Hyde.
Lehman arranges for an unknown gardener—Jorge—to care for his roses while he’s away. Violet is attracted to the young man, who eventually discloses that he’s not a gardener at all, but a writer researching a book on professional gamblers. He finds out and tells Violet that Lehman has lost the couple’s house and business in a poker game with an eccentric and very wealthy Ukrainian businessman—a card player who goes by the name Sweet Daddy and whose constant companion is a Chihuahua called Boris.
Violet is devastated by her husband’s deceit. Jorge, too, has been deceived by Sweet Daddy, and devises a plan he only partially discloses, but claims will help Lehman recover his losses. Violet places her trust in Jorge and agrees to go along with the scheme, but Lehman’s not the only one with secrets and the twists don’t stop coming.
Romance and humor enliven a sleepy little town in this gem of a novel
reminiscent of the works of Fannie Flagg.
JEAN CARNAHAN grew up in Washington DC, but spent most of her life in Missouri, where she worked alongside her husband Governor Mel Carnahan and served as Missouri’s First Lady. In 2000, when her husband was elected to the U.S. Senate posthumously, Jean went to Washington in his place, becoming the first woman from Missouri to serve in the U.S. Senate. Now retired, the former First Lady of Missouri is a motivational speaker, political activist, and blogger. She is the author of A Little Help from My Friends, The Tide Always Comes Back, and I'm a Humdinger. This is her first novel. You can see more at JeanCarnahan.com.