Just Fine with Caroline: A Cold River Novel

Just Fine with Caroline: A Cold River Novel

by Annie England Noblin


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From the author of Sit! Stay! Speak! comes a tender, terrific novel complete with long-buried secrets, a three-legged pot belly pig, and an irresistible dog—an unforgettable story about love, friendship, and community. Perfect for fans of Mary Kay Andrews and Mary Alice Monroe.

Caroline O’Connor never dreamed she’d be back home in Cold River, Missouri, the Ozark Mountain town where everyone is ‘up your business.’…they mean well as they drive you crazy. She thought she’d left town for good, but now she’s back, helping to care for her New York born mother—struck with Alzheimer’s, and prone to saying and doing anything—and her father, the beloved local doctor frustrated he can’t cure his own wife.

As for Caroline, she’s doing ‘just fine’ coping with her parents, her brazen cousin Ava Dawn’s marital disasters, her mostly-deaf dog…and with Noah Cranwell, far-flung relative of a local family mostly infamous for running moonshine, an ex-veteran who’s come to Cold River with troubles of his own.

Caroline believes she knows everything about Cold River and the people who live in its hills and hollers … but sometimes life’s greatest surprises happen closest to home.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062465627
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 10/11/2016
Pages: 368
Sales rank: 452,104
Product dimensions: 5.31(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.83(d)

About the Author

Annie England Noblin lives with her son, husband, and three dogs in the Missouri Ozarks. She graduated with an M.A. in creative writing from Missouri State University and currently teaches English and communications for Arkansas State University in Mountain Home, Arkansas. She spends her free time playing make-believe, feeding stray cats, and working with animal shelters across the country to save homeless dogs.

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Just Fine with Caroline: A Cold River Novel 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
beckybh More than 1 year ago
In JUST FINE WITH CAROLINE, by Annie England Noblin, Caroline O'Connor returns to Cold River, MO to help care for her mom, Maureen, who has Alzheimers. She shares caretaking responsibilities with her retired physician dad, Max, and helps run her family's bait and tackle shop. Now that she's home, she views her town and it's residents through more mature eyes, making her question what she once believed about her past. Ex-veteran Noah Cranwell comes to Cold River to reclaim his family's rundown Cranwell Station. While he rehabilitates the building, he struggles with problems of his own. As Caroline and Noah's romance blooms, they uncover secrets about the town and their families that will bring them closer together. This story is a good contemporary women's romance filled with laughter, sadness and tears. It contains strongly developed main characters supported by interesting, fun secondary characters. The plot and subplots interweave well, and the characters' actions are believable. I took away one star, because it could've been edited a little better. First, there were too many names that began with the letter "c"--Caroline O'Connor, Court, Cranwell, Crow, Cranwell Corner, Cranwell Station, Cold River--to the point where it almost became a parody. I realize a town with a prominent family will have several businesses named after that family, but all the "c" names became a little too much. The book also could have benefitted from more dialogue. There was too much "tell" and not enough "show". And finally, the story's flow suffered from repeating some of what was said in previous chapters. Luckily the strength of the story and the characters' interactions overrode these concerns, and I gave JUST FINE WITH CAROLINE four stars. This book is perfect for fans of contemporary women's stories and those who like character-driven romances. So enjoy it at the beach or during a relaxing weekend at home. It's a pleasant way to pass the time. If You Like This, You May Like : SIT, STAY, SPEAK by Annie England Noblin, THE LIFE SHE WANTS and SWEPT AWAY by Robyn Carr, THE SECRETS OF ROSCARBURY HALL by Ann O'Loughlin, THE LAKESHORE CHRONICLES SERIES by Susan Wiggs, FOOL'S GOLD SERIES and MISCHIEF BAY SERIES by Susan Mallery, HERE'S TO US by Elin Hilderbrand, THE LAKE SEASON and MYSTIC SUMMER by Hannah McKinnon * An e-galley was provided by William Morrow and Edelweiss for an honest review. ** Visit Blue Moon Mystery Saloon for more book reviews
KrittersRamblings More than 1 year ago
Check out the full review at Kritters Ramblings Caroline returned to her small hometown in Missouri to help her father take care of her mother as she declines due to Alzheimer's. Life had been moving at the same pace until an "heir" to a longstanding family returns to reopen the family business and maybe sparks will fly? I would put this book in the middle of a venn diagram between women's fiction and romance. It had all of the plot of a women's fiction, but had the somewhat predictability and the sexy times of a romance. I kind of liked the mix of both in one book.
ahlewis32 More than 1 year ago
There are many things about this book that hit home for me. I live in rural Missouri, a close family member deals with the tragedy of Alzheimer’s, and I grew up fishing. So, when approached to read JUST FINE WITH CAROLINE, I jumped at the chance and I wasn’t disappointed. The story contains all the standard family issues that we see every day in our neighborhoods and towns but there is a deeper sensitivity to those issues in the book that I haven’t seen in other books with similar plots. We all know someone like Caroline or we are her. Her romance starts off very slowly with friendship, as many of them do, including my own. Over a period, it slowly turns into something deeper until at last Caroline must make a serious choice about her future based on new information. JUST FINE WITH CAROLINE is a delightful read and I enjoyed it greatly with its homespun charm. In a fast-paced world where everything happens in milliseconds, it was a true delight to read something that moves by at the speed I’m accustomed to. I highly recommend it as a wonderful change of pace!
Twink More than 1 year ago
3.5 Just Fine With Caroline is Annie England Noblin's second novel. Caroline has moved back home to Cold River, Missouri. Her family needs her help - her mom has Alzheimers, her dad is so busy (he's the town doctor) and her cousin Ava Dawn always seems to need a hand. And Caroline wants to keep her mom's beloved bait store open. Life gets a little more complicated when Noah Cranwell returns to town to resurrect his family's store - directly across from the bait shack. Noblin hits all the notes you would expect in a light hearted read - a slow building romance that hits more than one bump in the road, family issues, quirky supporting characters, conflicts that our main characters need to challenge - and secrets. Noblin also weaves some historical fact into her story that was quite fascinating. Annie herself makes her home in the Missouri Ozarks and uses that first hand knowledge to create her town, residents and atmosphere. I have lived in more than one small town and Noblin's depiction is spot on. Everyone really does know you, your business and it's really hard to keep a secret in a small town. I liked Caroline as a lead character - she's the solid, smart one that people tend to turn to. Ava Dawn is a foil for Caroline - she makes mistakes, bad choices and tends to live a wilder life. Noah as the yes, no, maybe so romantic lead was well drawn - and attractive. The rest of the supporting players round out the cast. High school hero also back in town, good guy sheriff with his own secrets, lovable town drunk etc. There's usually not much you can't figure out ahead of time in 'heartwarming small town' types of reads. And yes, this proved true for Just Fine With Caroline for me. But that's the appeal of them - you know everything is going to turn out okay in the end. This is the first book in Annie's new Cold River series. I can see a wealth characters just waiting to be met and and for their stories to be told. Read an excerpt of Just Fine With Caroline. My only quibble is that those quirky characters, dialogue and situations just try a bit too hard and are a bit over exaggerated. But on the other hand, this suits this style of novel. A sweet little read, meant to be enjoyed with a tall glass of sweet tea
Barb-TRC More than 1 year ago
Just Fine with Caroline by Annie England Noblin is the first book in her new Cold River series. Caroline O’Connor, our heroine, is home in Cold River, Missouri helping her father take care of her mother, who is suffering from Alzheimer’s. Caroline runs the family’s bait shop during the day, and usually hangs with her cousin, Ava and her friend, Court at night. Caroline’s father is a retired doctor, and works part-time at the clinic, with Ava watching over the mother. Ava plays a big part of this story, as she mostly slips in at night to stay with Caroline, since she is separated from her abusive husband. One day, Caroline notices someone is snooping around the old closed station opposite her shop; to her surprise, she meets someone she has not seen in many many years. Noah Cranwell, our hero, has returned home to rebuild the station. Noah’s infamous grandfather used to run a moonshine business long ago, with most town folks staying clear of the Cranwells. Later in this story, we will find out that there is more to the Cranwells and the O’Connors from way back. Noah immediately befriends and takes an interest in Caroline. Caroline’s deaf dog, Yari will gravitate to Noah, who communicates well with the dog, opening up a friendship between them. This is a sweet lighthearted story line focusing on Caroline; her friends, family, life in general and her slow build romance with Noah. Along the way, Caroline finds herself in the middle of issues that arise; such as Ava’s abusive and dangerous husband; the unknown secret between the Cranwell/O’Connor; helping her best friend move on with his life not meant to be in a small town. I found the story lighthearted, with a simple look at small town life. At times it did move slowly, but the characters we got to meet were very likable. If you enjoy a sweet story about a small town life, then this would be a perfect book for you.
Honolulubelle More than 1 year ago
Favorite Quotes: I figure it's a little bit like telling Jesus no, you know? I figure he's got a direct line to Jesus, and tellin' him no is like punchin' Jesus in the face. Reese Graham wanted a woman to stay home and iron his clothes while he had a woman somewhere else to iron, well, other things. Caroline would sooner die. In one swift movement, Hazel slapped the side of her son's head so hard that a wad of tobacco came flying out of his mouth and landed in the middle of the bowl of peaches with a sickening plop. 'Don't lie to your mama, child... Now yer gonna eat them peaches.' 'He and his fool headed groomsmen insisted on those camouflage tuxedos.'... Generally speaking, she didn't mind camouflage. Folks in Cold River wore it year-round. However, there was just something tacky about using it in a wedding. It was like people forgot that camo was supposed to be for hunting. If you are getting married, well, the hunt was over. My Review: This is only Annie England Noblin's second book - and it was gold. I adored it. It squeezed my cold heart and moved me to blink back tears more than once, but at other times - it also had me smirking and chuckling aloud. I adored it from beginning to end. I didn't want to stop reading this delightful and well-written tale once I picked it up. Written from a third person point of view and packed with clever humor, intrigue, long held family secrets, hillbillies, moonshine, small town small mindedness and gossip, this book was a winner. The writing was well-paced, compelling, moving, and unfailingly engaging from the first page to the last. I was invested in the storyline as well as in the multi-faceted and endearing characters. Some secrets are better kept just that, but when the secret Caroline had been chasing was finally revealed in-depth, it was by the most unlikely of sources and in such a tender manner, I was taken aback. The words stung my eyes and constricted my throat. This author has mad skills! I can't wait to see what she does next.