Adoption insights get benched in favor of sports slapstick in Carroll's mother-daughter farce. Forty-year-old former burlesque queen Olivia deMarley is engaged to a Colorado sports equipment magnate, but she's never shaken her disappointment over her estrangement from her wealthy disapproving father, Augie. When Livy returns to Manhattan for Augie's funeral, she receives two surprises: first is the reappearance of Sophie, the daughter Livy gave up for adoption 20 years ago. Secondly, Augie's will leaves Livy the controlling interest in the Bronx Cheers, a cellar-dwelling minor league baseball team, provided she can "close the circle." Left to ponder her father's cryptic words, Livy is given a chance to develop a relationship with tough-minded softball star Sophie, even if it means distancing herself from the man she loves. Although Carroll includes plenty of birth mother-daughter-adoptive parent tension, most of the revelations feel superficial, as the plots hinges primarily on light comedy, whether it be in the courtroom, in ridiculous family shenanigans or on the baseball diamond. Readers who like their humor broad and their sports fiction tinted pink will revel in Carroll's mother-daughter dynamos. (Feb.)Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Choosing Sophieby Leslie Carroll
When life throws you a curve ball...
Venus deMarley has just been hit with a wild pitch. At forty she's finally found the perfect fiancé, when Sophie—the daughter she gave up for adoption twenty years ago—suddenly reappears. Venus has another crisis on her hands as well: her eccentric millionaire dad just died and willed her his pet
When life throws you a curve ball...
Venus deMarley has just been hit with a wild pitch. At forty she's finally found the perfect fiancé, when Sophie—the daughter she gave up for adoption twenty years ago—suddenly reappears. Venus has another crisis on her hands as well: her eccentric millionaire dad just died and willed her his pet project—a rag-tag minor league baseball team called the Bronx Cheers—if Venus and Sophie can reconcile and once again become a family. Venus knows diddly about sports, but Sophie's a jock, unlike her glamorous mom. And after two decades apart, these two women know nothing about each other, and rarely agree on anything. But maybe—just maybe—they have more in common than they think...
- HarperCollins Publishers
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 5.31(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.61(d)
Read an Excerpt
Top of the First
"My knight in shining armor," I purred gratefully, as Tom stepped onto the balcony and placed a steaming mug of coffee in front of me. "Where would I be without my morning fix?" I teased, reaching up to run my hand through his hair.
"The coffee or the New York Times online?" Tom leaned over and pressed his lips to the top of my head. "Mmmm . . . you smell good. Must be all this Colorado sunshine." He kneaded my shoulders and took a deep breath, filling his lungs with the sweet mountain air. "I can never get enough of this," he said, gesturing to the wide world beyond as if he owned the place. "If this is 'God's country,' as they say, it's almost enough to make a man a true believer."
I kissed his hand and rested my cheek against it. The view of the mountains was indeed spectacular. In Tom's chalet-style house I felt like a modern-day Heidi. "The longer I stay here, the greater the urge to yodel," I kidded, turning back to my laptop.
"What could be better to look at than this?" Tom glanced over my shoulder at the laptop and frowned at the screen. "A garbage strike, another rapper shot in front of a nightclub, record-breaking heat—this is as close as I ever want to be to your precious New York City." He shuddered dramatically, faking a visceral adverse reaction that he knows always gets my goat.
"Hey—no picking on my hometown!" I squeezed Tom's hand. "I thought you didn't mind it so much when you lived there."
"As a grad student. With an exit visa. Two years of business school and I knew I was coming back to the slopes. Thereare no decent places to ski in your state."
I took a sip of coffee, savoring its warmth as it coursed down my throat. Tom had brewed it just the way I like it—strong enough to stand a spoon in. "Oh, c'mon!" I gently bit his knuckles.
"I told you not to insult New York. We've got great mountains! What about the Catskills? And the Adirondacks? This coffee is perfect, by the way." I tilted my head to beam at him. "So, I guess I'll keep you, after all." I twisted my engagement ring with my left thumb so the diamond would catch the morning light. "Yeah," I sighed happily. "You're a keeper. Even if you dis my city all the time. After all, it's so hard to get a great cup of coffee these days."
Tom took my left hand in his. His skin felt warm against mine. "The Catskills? Those aren't mountains. Those are hills. These," he said, gesturing expansively toward the incomparable vista of the jagged Ten Mile Range, "these are mountains."
The sky was impossibly blue. "Della Robbia blue" as Blanche Dubois would have called it. A color found in early Renaissance ceramics and the Colorado sky. Another perfect day in Paradise.
I turned back to the computer screen, where a Times headline announced the indictment of a city council member. "You don't really hate New York that much, do you?" For some reason, I found Tom's over-the-top distaste for the city more amusing than annoying; it was writ so large that I found it hard to take seriously.
"It's a nice place to visit."
"What about as a place to get married?"
"I thought we were going to get married here?"
"But all my friends are in New York. Except for your family, I don't know anyone here but you." And we'd only known each other since February. I'd treated myself to a ski vacation over Presidents' Day weekend, or whatever the calendars call it these days. Tom was conducting a clinic at Breckenridge that was really designed to introduce potential customers to Elliott and Sons equipment—the company that's been owned by his family for four generations. Nowadays, there are Elliott daughters in the business, but the name remains a Victorian-era throwback. By the end of the holiday weekend Elliott and Sons had taken my credit card number in exchange for a state-of-the-art pair of boots and bindings, new skis, and poles—and I'd given my heart to the CEO.
Sometimes you just know.
"We'll fly your guests out here, Ollie," Tom offered.
"You're not that rich!" I teased. "Nor am I. And you know I hate it when you call me Ollie. Shades of a dragon puppet from a long-gone TV show. Besides, no one else does."
"Which is why I do. I figure the husband-to-be ought to get some special privileges or something."
I placed his hand on my breast. "You already do."
"Yay!" Tom's jubilant exclamation came out like a soft peal of music. He grinned. "I'm so glad you want to be Mrs. Tom Elliott of Breckenridge, Colorado."
"Mmm . . . aren't you an old-fashioned guy?" I nuzzled his knuckles. "Actually, I'll still be Ms. Olivia deMarley, late of New York for most of her years, and Las Vegas for several, by way of Massachusetts for three of them." I guided his hand over the mountainous landscape of my chest. "But I'm still looking forward to marrying Number One Son of Elliott and Sons ski company and manufactorium."
"Is manufactorium a word?"
"It is now." I laughed and craned my neck to meet Tom's lips as he bent toward me. "You're the only man I've ever even considered marrying."
Come to think of it, I haven't had too many offers over the years. Burlesque dancers don't tend to be the kind of women a guy brings home to meet his mother. They hear what you do and figure it means you're a stripper. I've spent half a lifetime explaining the difference in order to justify my existence to people who don't deserve the disclaimer. But the truth is that most of my relationships tanked long before the subject of marriage (doing it, as opposed to avoiding it) was on the table.Choosing Sophie. Copyright © by Leslie Carroll. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
Meet the Author
Native New Yorker Leslie Carroll is also a professional actress, dramatist, and journalist. Her first two books, contemporary romantic comedies set in her hometown, won a series of rave reviews. She also writes historical and New York "tart noir" detective fiction. Leslie has worked more temp jobs than she cares to remember in the fields of politics, advertising, public relations, and far too frequently law. But it's all ripe for social satire and fodder for fiction!
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
See all customer reviews
Estranged from her wealthy father August deMarley for over two decades former burlesque dancer and club manager Venus learns he died by reading it in the Aspen newspaper. She informs her fiancé Tom Elliot she is going to New York for the funeral, but he need not come. --- In New York, August¿s attorney Cap Gaines explains that Livy as she is called by family since her name is Olivia inherits the minor league baseball team the Bronx Cheers who play their home games on City Island. However, August ¿deMiser¿ as his daughter knew him left a stipulation that she complete the circle no one knows what he meant though Cap has an idea. The second stunner is a college age female almost her over six foot height who is at the reading. Cap introduces Livy to her daughter Sophie, whom she gave up for adoption twenty years ago. As biological mother and daughter try to forge a relationship, Livy hides her insecurities re Sophie, Tom and the team behind her towering height as she runs the Bronx Cheers hoping to make the playoffs for the first time something dad never saw. --- This entertaining relationship drama is a fabulous look at teaming in sports and in the ¿adoption triad¿. Readers will enjoy watching Livy and Sophie struggle with bonding while her adoptive parents reluctantly but lovingly encourage them. Although Brooklyn, home to the minor league Cyclones seems a better choice of location as the Bronx has the Yankees, fans of an extended family drama will appreciate observing whether Livy hits a home run with her daughter, her team, and her fiancé or strikes out. --- Harriet Klausner
Venus gave Sophie up for adoption. She then quit college and became a dancer and club manager. She was about to get married when Sophie found her. Her fiancé dumps her (jerk), because Venus now has too much baggage. Venus¿ estranged father dies, and leaves her a losing baseball team. Sophie and Venus begin the journey of learning each other. They manage the team together. They have many ups and downs. Sophie¿s parents are so supportive and understanding of their daughter. ¿Choosing Sophie¿ is a breath of fresh air. It is a Lifetime Movie waiting to happen. If you liked Nora Roberts¿ ¿Montana Sky¿, you will like ¿Choosing Sophie¿. Go ahead and indulge yourself, and experience the importance of family. Reviewed by Stephanie Rollins for ReviewYourBook.com
Easy but meaningul story
Good, super easy read. I liked the writing style but the story what just okay.