A.J. Pine is known for writing steamy romances and series fiction featuring sexy cowboys (Only a Cowboy Will Do). However, in The Bloom Girls, she delivers a vibrant standalone novel that mines contemporary family dynamics as mother and daughter both fall in love and embark on new life chapters.
When Gabi Bloom graduates from college, her academic milestone reunites her parents, divorced since Gabi was four. Her mother, Alissa, a 39-year-old bakery owner in Chicago, forfeited her own dreams to raise their daughter alone while her ex-husband, restless Matthew, traveled the world. After graduation, Gabi, an aspiring photographer, sets off on a two-month-long European adventure, where she meets and falls for Ethan, a U.S. expat. Their whirlwind romance leads to an engagement. When Gabi returns home with Ethan as her fiancé, Alissa and Matthew, who had a one-night stand the night of Gabi's college graduation, hide the news that they are now expecting a baby.
As the family, including extended members prone to meddling, plan a traditional Jewish wedding with a host of amusing trappings, Alissa and Matthew play a romantic tug-of-war. They continue to hide the pregnancy--trying not to overshadow the nuptials--while dealing with their rekindled feelings, battling the past and confronting issues of trust.
Pine delivers a tender, fun, engaging story that insightfully depicts turning points of unexpected romance and how deciphering what one truly wants out of life can be challenging at any age. --Kathleen Gerard, blogger at Reading Between the Lines