Book Review: Dollar Daze by Karin Gillespie

Dollar DazeDollar Daze
The Bottom Dollar Series #3
Karin Gillespie
Henery Press, May 2015
ISBN 978-1-941962-56-5
Ebook
Also available in trade paperback

Note: this is a re-release of the book first published in hardcover in 2006.

From the publisher—

Cupid is running rampant in Cayboo Creek, South Carolina, and all the Bottom Dollar Girls have been struck dizzy with his arrows…

When high school heartthrob Brewster Clark returns to town, both Birdie and Mavis are angling for his affections, threatening their long-term friendship.

Ever-so-proper Gracie Tobias meets Rusty the dreamy doctor of her dreams but soon discovers he’s actually a blue-collar duct doctor. Will their wildly different social positions drive a wedge between them? Meanwhile Elizabeth is trying to put the sizzle back to her marriage. Not even octogenarian Attalee is immune to love’s siren call. She gets engaged to beau Dooley and plans a wild bachelorette party and steamy honeymoon.

Traveling love’s rocky road keeps the Bottom Dollar Girls asking, “Is it ever too late for moons and Junes?” Through much laughter and a few tears the girls discover that the answer is a resounding no.

I usually avoid romance fiction like the plague, mostly the bodice-ripper type or the kind that has woman/girl pining weepily after the hot patootie that happened to smile at her one day. Worse yet is the love triangle or the dreaded “insta-love”. However, I’m not entirely immune to the appeal of romance especially the lighthearted, humorous, dare-I-say-it-chick-lit sort found in books like Dollar Daze by Karin Gillespie.

This is the third book in the Bottom Dollar series (trilogy?) which is just good old Southern fiction focused on a group of women who become friends through their connections to the Bottom Dollar Emporium, an old-fashioned general store in Cayboo Creek, South Carolina, just over the border from Augusta, Georgia. This is the precursor to today’s dollar stores albeit with a whole lot more charm, the kind of store you see in small towns all across America (and can’t resist dropping in).

This somewhat motley crew of women, ranging from young Elizabeth Hollingsworth struggling with being a stay-at-home mom to 80-something-year-old Attalee Gaines who is still feeling every oat she ever had are really appealing to me, maybe because their lives are so very normal. In this episode, love is in the air or, rather, the pursuit of love and Attalee, with her upcoming nuptials to 78-year-old stud Dooley Prichard, has inspired widows Mavis Loomis and Birdie Murdock to test the dating waters again. Unbeknownst to them, their friend, Mrs. Tobias. may have found her own stimulation in bad boy Rusty Williams who goes against every fiber of her upbringing.

I couldn’t help but sympathize with Elizabeth’s seeming inability to find happiness at home after having an energizing marketing job and I followed her path with interest but it was the romantic adventures of the other ladies that kept me engaged. There’s heartache and jealousy and a great deal of smiling to be had in this story and I thoroughly enjoyed the time I spent with these ladies in the charming town of Cayboo Creek. I intend to go back and read the first two books and I’m just sorry that there doesn’t seem to be any chance of more. On the other hand, since Henery Press has re-issued the first three, maybe…?

Reviewed by Lelia Taylor, May 2015.