Objects of My Affection by Jill Smolinski
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
This read like a Harlequin romance crossed with an episode of Hoarders, with neither side getting the attention it deserved. It's also about addiction, to things, to drugs and to family.
Lucy is one of those people who is unattached to "stuff", but completely oblivious to what's going on with the people around her. Her son, Ash, has become a drug addict and she's sold virtually everything she has to send him to a rehab program. The first job she has is that of cleaning out the house of a very feisty, aging, slightly sick artist - if she can manage to clean it out, selling whatever can be sold at either auction or a yard sale, she'll get a huge bonus.
Of course, working with Marva isn't easy and there are a number of confrontations. Marva is a definite hoarder, but she's also pretty savvy about Lucy's blindness to her son's problems. Slowly - no surprise - the two start to work together and to move forward with both their lives. The reasons behind the hoarding finally come out, but Lucy's lack of interest in things doesn't really get discussed in any detail.
The romance part comes from Niko, one of the contractors hired to haul stuff out of the house, and Daniel, her former live-in boyfriend, with whom Lucy broke up over Ash's addiction. This is romance lite, with feelings and emotions constantly being interrupted by either Marva's or Ash's needs.
ARC provided by publisher.