by Pamela Morsi

February 2007
ISBN: 978-0-7783-2423-2
Reviewer Graphic Button Mira Books
Trade Paperback

Are you looking for a nice little vacation spot where you can get away from it all? Someplace where time seems to stand still, where cell phones, and PDA’s won’t work without putting forth some effort? If this sounds like the perfect spot to you then check out Warbler Lake, Missouri courtesy of Pamela Morsi’s newest book entitled Bitsy’s Bait and BBQ.

A truly idyllic spot such as this might not really exist, but for Katy Dobson it seems the perfect place to start her new life as a divorced mom. Katy grew dreaming of a place to put down her roots despite the nomadic existence that her mom and stepdad craved. Her divorce has left her the means to start anew, and the ad she saw for Bitsy’s B and B sounds perfect to her!

Katy and her sister Emma arrive in Warbler Lake prepared to take ownership of a bed and breakfast, but what they get is a run down bait shop/barbecue restaurant which neither of which they have a clue how to run. However, the town is nothing if not forgiving and as they flounder through their first few days the town rallies for support.

While life may not be perfect it seems darn near close until Katy’s past tries to come crashing into her future. Her ex-husband is suing for custody of their son Josh. Sean is not the one behind the suit, but is being manipulated by his mother Gwen. He’s so desperate that he spends the summer at Warbler Lake trying to get to know Josh, and insinuate himself into the boy’s life.

Emma, Katy’s sister has always been a steady force in Katy’s life. She’s made up for the fact that their parents prefer the traveling life. For every hardship Katy has faced Emma has been there to support her. The move to Warbler Lake and the fight for custody of Josh are no different. However, Emma has dreams of her own, and one can’t help but wonder if and when it will be Emma’s time for Emma. Readers will be relieved to know that not only will Katy’s story resolve itself within the pages of Bitsy’s Bait and BBQ, but so will Emma’s.

Ms. Morsi has written a story that doesn’t just involve the Dodson’s and their fight for custody of Josh, but instead involves the whole town. Each resident has a story to tell, and the summaries of their lives are fulfilling enough that readers get to know them, but not so overpowering as to feel as though they are distracting from the main characters.

Warbler Lake is a community that opens its arms to all and makes everyone feel welcome. The people and the place have a way of getting into your soul that you don’t even realize you’re completely relaxed and ready for the setting to be real until you close the last page of the book and realize that you’re still sitting in your favorite reading chair, and not under a shade tree staring at a beautiful lake, with the warmth of the sun beating down on you.

Reviewed in March 2007 by Sandi.

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