Whatever You Say is the second in Leigh's Whatever series, and will be released one week from today, on April 4. The first in the series is Whatever You Call Me, published last year, and the third, Whatever We Are is anticipated to be released later this year (Mrs. Fleming has been busy and productive, my friends. Click here to sign up for Leigh's newsletter).
While this book is part of a series, it definitely stands on its own, taking a minor character, Kate McNamara, from Whatever You Call Me, and exploring her story. Kate is an ambitious young attorney, aspiring to be the best, and fighting for a deserved promotion to senior associate, when she hears the news that her grandmother has broken her leg. Kate rushes to Highland Springs to help her grandmother recover, all while trying to keep up with her heavy case-load back in Washington, D.C. Kate is the quintessential young professional, who is too busy focusing on her career to even think about love.
Of course, this is a romance, so we need a handsome and slightly mysterious love interest for Kate: enter Brody, a successful songwriter, who has given up his music writing career and returned home to Highland Springs, where he delivers firewood to little old ladies and serves on the community center board. Our heroine, driven career woman Kate, just can't figure Brody out, but as she gets to know him better her intrigue increases until she can't resist.
I really liked this book. The characters were unique, likable, and memorable, but most of all, real. They were multifaceted: human and flawed, but also wonderful--I found myself really falling in love with Kate and Brody, and rooting for them. The story was well planned and executed, and while I pretty much guessed how the book would end (spoiler alert--it's a romance. It's practically required that there be a happy ending), I had to keep reading to see how the story got there. No, seriously. I had to keep reading. I finished the book in a day and a half. Yup, it was that good.
On a personal note, I loved the setting in wild, wonderful West Virginia--Leigh's descriptions of rural West Virginia were so poignant and beautiful, and it brought back great memories. And I really loved how Leigh incorporated names of her friends and family, many of whom I know personally, into the book (feel free to write me into your next one, Leigh :-) ).
Bottom line: a fun, lighthearted, can't-put-it-down read--perfect for the beach or cabin. Book candy.
Thanks so much for inviting me to read your book, Leigh! I am really looking forward to reading Whatever We Are, and wish you the best.