Sheridan “Dani” Reed is a recently unemployed photojournalist living in New York City. Her boyfriend is vacationing without her, and her best friend has abandoned her for a job in the south. Is a quarter-life crisis a thing? After accepting a freelance job in Louisiana for Southern Style magazine, she feels the bleakness of her life back in New York fading in the rearview mirror. Getting back to her southern roots seems to be just what she needs to lift her spirits and spark her creativity. During her stay, she meets playboy Micah Landry and his colorful family. She knows she should avoid him and keep things professional, but his southern charms are hard to resist. Through the lens of her camera, she finds the beauty and soul of the Landry Plantation, but it’s her beauty and soul that capture Micah’s attention. When an unexpected phone call takes her back to New York, she’s forced to face the life she was trying to escape head on. Will her trip and the Landrys only become fond memories, or will Dani find her way back to them and her beloved south? In their debut novel, Jiffy Kate bring you a story of love, adventure, and finding a place to call home.
REVIEW BY MICHELLE
I think as a reviewer I am supposed to say “I received an Advanced Readers Copy of this book in exchange for an honest review”…blah blah blah…yes I am actually making those funny looking movements with my hand that look like lips talking… let’s just get that out of the way right now…I’m going to be honest, of course…however, there is NO WAY in hell that I could give an “objective” review of Finding Focus by JiffyKate …because I LOVE these two human beings…together, apart, anyway I can get them.
So, just in the interest of informed consent, I opened this book on my Kindle with my heart overflowing with pride and joy that these two ladies, Jiffy+Kate can now call themselves published authors and that I “knew them when.” Love biases everything.
Oh and one more thing I should let you know…I am from “the North,” I fell madly in love with, then married, a “Southern Charmer” and currently live in Charleston, SC. So there’s that.
Let’s start with Sheridan Reed, our young protagonist, trying to find her way in NYC in the cutthroat world of photojournalism. Yikes, if that doesn’t make you want to hug her right off the bat, you get to meet her current boyfriend, Graham, who instantly becomes Mr. hopefully soon-to-be-ex. She states “It’s like my compass is broken and I can’t seem to find direction.” Oh Dani…where I come from, we call that “compass” your “picker” and its broke girlfriend. I love you already, but girl, I think you need to get out of town…now!
I am just channeling Sheridan’s best friend Piper, who gets her a cushy project to photograph the beautiful plantation of a respected Southern family near Baton Rouge, LA. Piper’s motives for getting her best friend out of New York aside, this scene pulls me right into the story. Lord, just the thought of photographing a plantation AND making money, got my fake fan moving, hoping for a mint julep on the veranda.
And then there is the Landry family. This family is perfect. No, they are. There are certain things you have to understand about being or loving a southerner, and JiffyKate understand these things, hopefully you will too after reading Finding Focus. Their writing is like “Southern Comfort…” smooth and beautiful, with a little buzz after the shot. Someone in this pairing has loved a southerner (or maybe a few, since I know these gals). Period.
Micah Landry. Sigh. He is a truly good human being. Sigh again. And hot…don’t forget that. I really fell in love with him…gently, just like Sheridan did. Just the right pace, waiting for the right time. JiffyKate made him come alive for me…and again I fell for a Southern Charmer.
Finding Focus is an easy read and made me feel like I wanted to invite JiffyKate to Boone Hall Plantation to discuss this story with them. Ultimately, this is a good, old-fashioned love story. I am a better person for reading this tale. Seriously! The stories I usually read have so much porn in them that I feel like I need to go to confession after. Although there are some lemony pieces of this pie, Finding Focus took me back to stories that made me feel good in different ways (If you know what I mean, and I think you do!)
The movie 5 to 7 is a love story of a struggling, unpublished writer in New York (ok…cliché…) who said something at the end that reminded me of what I felt finishing Finding Focus by JiffyKate. He said, “every work of fiction is written for one reader.” I sat and wondered who that could be? Well, don’t look at me…I don’t know…you will have to ask JiffyKate…but I dare to presume…
Perhaps it was Jiff writing to Kate to express the story of when they fell “in love” and their words mingled. Maybe it’s a True Love Story to a fandom that has spawned so many tales of true love that rival the number of stars in the sky. Could it be written to lost loves…because remembering is one of the greatest forms of love? Truthfully, is Finding Focus JiffyKate's idea of foreplay…for all the stories yet to come…?
I like to think this story was written for me. And you. And you there. And yes… you over there…
Love biases everything. I loved this story and think you will too. Congratulations to all of us, because we all get to read these ladies words.
Mad Cougar Love Forever…