CHERI ON TOP - Susan Donovan
St. Martin’s Paperbacks
Bilger, North Carolina - Present Day
In the months since Cherise Newberry and her partner Candy lost everything in the Florida real estate market crash, they’ve sold off most everything of value, started sharing a tiny apartment, working temp jobs, and they are still unable to cover their debts. So, when Cherise’s grandfather asks her to come back to Bilger and run the family’s newspaper, it’s not something she can say no to, in spite of her vow never to return to her hometown. As if her life isn’t bad enough, though, Cheri will be the publisher, but the managing editor will be J.J. DeCourcy. Once upon a time, J.J. promised he’d love Cheri forever, but that was before he impregnated and married her sister.
The very day Cheri returns to Bilger, the biggest news story to hit the town in years is uncovered. Forty years ago, Betty Jean Smoot disappeared, and legend has it that her ghost haunts Paw Paw Lake. Thanks to a development company, the lake was drained, and they found the car that belonged to Betty Jean. While this story will help the failing paper, Cheri, a former forensic accountant, starts looking into the paper’s financials and finds a pattern of irregularities that alarms her. Ironically, the only man she trusts to help her is J.J.—the man who hurt her so horribly once before, and the only man she’s ever loved.
CHERI ON TOP is the story of a woman going back to her roots and finding everything that’s been missing in her life. Once Cheri and Candy started making serious money in the real estate market their lives focused on material goods and making more money. Now that the money is gone, they are worried about surviving—and keeping the truth of their circumstances hidden from their families in Bilger. In spite of her recent bad luck, Cheri is a successful, confident woman…until she returns to her hometown. She’s never worked at the newspaper, and doesn’t feel as if she’s making much of a contribution. In taking over the paper that her father once ran, Cheri is also living with the daily reminder of the loss of her parents, and her surety that she is to blame for their deaths. Her first meeting with J.J. does not go as planned; he almost kisses her, and she can’t bring herself to hate that fact. But, as she uncovers the lies and secrets in both her familial relationships and the newspaper, Cheri is also uncovering a person she likes more than the shallow real-estate developer she once was.
An entertaining romance, look for CHERI ON TOP.
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