Nowhere But Home by Liza Palmer
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Very typical - but enjoyable - romance.
Queenie (nee Queen Elizabeth) Wade is one of the Wade Girls, cursed in town because her mother was overly friendly with the townsmen. Mom, by the way, finally got hers at the hands of one of her BFFs, when said BFF found Mom in bed with her husband. As soon as she could, Queenie left North Star and the rumors and the man she could never have, Everett (the scion of the Paragon Ranch, town royalty). Yet try as she might, her career as a chef has turned into running from town to town to city to city and job to job to job. Finally at the end of her rope, she returns to North Star and her older sister, Merry Carole (who has apparently taken on her mother's mantle because she got pregnant at 16).
There's nothing surprising here: you know Queenie will fight the town's expectations of her and her sister, that she'll find herself and love, and that North Star (talk about a freighted name for a town!) will eventually feel like home. Having said that, it's a satisfying example of the genre and might appeal to teens ready for something a little more adult than Sarah Dessen (there's nothing too "adult", but schools won't have this author on their shelves).
ARC provided by the publisher.