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Small Town Girl

Small Town Girl

4.4 29
by LaVyrle Spencer

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Romance Large Print Edition Eighteen years ago, Tess McPhail left tiny Wintergreen, Missouri for Nashville and never looked back. Now one of country s brightest stars, Mac s career is her life, with no time for marriage, children or family until her sisters insist she come home to help care for their widowed mother. After nearly two decades of public adoration,


Romance Large Print Edition Eighteen years ago, Tess McPhail left tiny Wintergreen, Missouri for Nashville and never looked back. Now one of country s brightest stars, Mac s career is her life, with no time for marriage, children or family until her sisters insist she come home to help care for their widowed mother. After nearly two decades of public adoration, Mac comes home to being insulted by her jealous older sister, enraged by her mother and ignored by Kenny Kronek, the boy next door whom she had taunted mercilessly in high school. Kenny s daughter Casey is talented, and as Mac assumes the role of mentor, the feigned indifference between Mac and Kenny turns to playful bickering, then to passion. But will the love that seems viable in Wintergreen work in Nashville? From the high-voltage rhythms of the country music scene to the gentle flow of Midwestern life, Spencer s Small Town Girl doesn t miss a beat.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Make room on bestseller lists for Spencer's latest heart-warmer about unlikely romance, this time between country-western star Tess McPhail and her old schoolmate Kenny Kronek, formally "a dork of the highest magnitude," now an accountant. When her older sisters demand that she spend four weeks in Wintergreen, Mo., helping their mother recover from hip-replacement surgery, Tess blows into town with a chip on her shoulder, expecting to be treated like the star she is. But Kenny, who lives across the alley and faithfully cares for Tess's mom, isn't at all impressed. Tess scornfully dubs him St. Kenny, but she can't help adoring his daughter, Casey, a teenage tomboy with a gravelly singing voice. The girl helps Tess write a song about the difficulties of returning home, while Kenny continues to annoy with his constant good deeds-that is, until Tess at last notes that Kenny is disturbingly attractive. When it's time to return to Nashville, she realizes she loves him. Easily resolving the quandary of how a small-town mortal might fit into a superstar's life, Spencer promotes Kenny to the position of Tess's money manager. In an ending that is pure fantasy, everybody's dreams come true-including those of the phenomenally talented and lucky Casey. Light on plot, and lacking a dashing romantic hero (Kenny is nicey-niceness personified), this novel succeeds on Spencer's talent for making the inevitable entertaining. Literary Guild main selection; Reader's Digest Condensed Book. (Mar.)
Kirkus Reviews
The heroine in Spencer's (That Camden Summer, 1995, etc.) newest surefire bestseller discovers that true love and a career do mix.

Country-western superstar Tess McPhail travels back to her roots in Wintergreen, Missouri, the town where she was born. She hasn't visited it in 18 years, since she graduated from high school and set out to conquer Nashville's Music Row. Mac, as she is known to her zillions of fans, has come back home to shepherd her mother through a hip-replacement operation. But just how she is going to endure a month in this backwater is more than the elegant (but lonely) Mac can imagine. She loves her mother, but they don't get along; Momma doesn't think a girl has really succeeded in life unless she's married. And then there's the question of how she will endure that seemingly insufferable Kenny Kronek, an accountant no less, who lives across the alley and who had a big crush on her when she was a cute teenager and he was an acne-faced nerd. Little by little, of course, Tess starts to like the quiet life. She befriends Kenny's talented daughter Casey, and she falls in love with "St. Kenny," who is, it turns out, handsome, kind, responsible, and a loving help to her momma. In the end, Tess will get the best of both worlds—life as Mrs. Kronek plus a million-dollar house in Nashville, complete with maid, limos, pool, private planes, a marble bathtub, an unlimited supply of chic low-fat dinners, and a charge account at Tiffany's.

This time out, Spencer adopts the heartfelt language of country-western lyrics ("He held her hand over his hurting heart as they drank each other in"), constructing a happy land where everything is as warm and folksy and loving as a group hug.

From the Publisher
Praise for the novels of New York Times bestselling author LaVyrle Spencer
“A modern fairy tale.”—People
“Superb.”—Los Angeles Times
“Warm and folksy and loving.”—Kirkus Reviews
“Leaves the reader breathless.” —New York Daily News
“[Spencer] delivers the goods.”—*Publishers Weekly

Product Details

Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
Edition description:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.10(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.10(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher
Praise for the novels of LaVyrle Spencer

“You will never forget the incredible beauty of LaVyrle’s gifted pen.”—Affaire de Coeur

"Warm and folksy and loving."—Kirkus Reviews
“A modern fairy tale.”—People
 “A superb story.”—Los Angeles Times
“Spencer, famous for her heartrending slices of Americana, delivers the goods again.”—Publishers Weekly
“A gifted storyteller.”—The Birmingham News
 “Superb!”—Chicago Sun-Times
“Leaves the reader breathless.” —New York Daily News

Meet the Author

LaVyrle Spencer is the New York Times bestselling author of contemporary and historical romance novels, including Small Town Girl, Then Came Heaven, and That Camden Summer.

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Small Town Girl 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 29 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read this book years ago. I had the paperback and read it so many times the darn pages started to fall out!!! Thank goodness that can't happen with the Nook version!!!
Laroo57 More than 1 year ago
Very enjoyable story, interesting characters who grow, and a fun plot with an 'upbeat' ending for our country singer!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If I remember correctly, SMALL-TOWN GIRL was LaVyrle Spencer's last contemporary novel (there would be one more historical), and this was my least-favorite of all her novels -- mainly because of the heroine. Tess is completely self-absorbed at the beginning of the story, when her older sister must bully the hotshot country singer to come home to care for her mother, and (sorry, necessary spoiler) never gets over herself. Whether it is her mother, sister, love interest, or protege, all must either learn their proper place in Tess's life or be booted out of it. LaVyrle Spencer, who usually created appealing heroines, stumbled here. If you want a great contemporary by this author, I recommend SEPARATE BEDS. But my all-time favorite of Spencer's was MORNING GLORY.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a book that you will enjoy and remember.
Babs5583 More than 1 year ago
What a sweet story. I loved all of the characters and the relationships. A really good, but light read I highly recommend it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I've read and re-read this book many times and have enjoyed it, but now that i have a Nook i would like to add it to my Nook library. How do i go about requesting that this book be put in Nookbook form?
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was a terrific book I just could not put it down I loved how Tess after all those years of tourmenting Kenny came to love him in the end. I also wondered if there was anything else in the future reading about Casey. All in all I truely enjoyed the book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved this book - have read it several times and I recommend it especially to country music lovers (like me!). It is interesting to see the characters develop. It is one of my favorite Lavyrle Spencer books.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A-READER24 More than 1 year ago
This book was awful. If I could have given it no stsrs, I would have. I threw it away after the first few chapters. I really did try to get into the story, but I was annoyed by Tess' attitude. Throughout the few chapters I did read, she just kept bragging about how she was rich and had a #1 country album. And she wondered why her sister and Kenny didn't like her? I wouldn't! Not with her attitude!
Dancer4LifeJE More than 1 year ago
They say you can never go home again, and that once you leave, nothing will ever quite be the same. This is basically stating that when you leave the memories that you made as a child will just fade away behind your new life and new memories. Although this statement rings true in one-way or another, I have a hard time believing it all the way. Once someone leaves the nest they have the choice of either taking their old life along with them, or completely throwing it in the dark and replacing it with what they believe is better. In the end, it's the individuals choice to either hold on to their past or decide to let go completely. In the novel Small Town Girl, by LaVyrle Spencer, the theme of never forgetting who you are or where you come from is displayed heavily throughout the book. Also, it is shown through the main characters experiences that no one should ever take their family for granted, no matter what the circumstances. The last main theme that is displayed through this book is the importance of working hard and always following your dreams, while at the same time staying grounded. Tess, a small town girl born and raised in Wintergreen, Missouri, is the main character of this book who makes a big change in her life at the age of eighteen when she decides to leave her home and pursue her dream as a country music singer in Nashville, Tennessee. Pretty soon it's about twelve years later and Tess has become one of the most famous stars in the world, she has earned about as much money as anyone could imagine and is happier than ever, or so she thinks. Tess's life is completely thrown off balance when about a year after her last visit; she is forced to return to take care of her mom post a major surgery. Tess finds herself completely indifferent and disconnected from everything and everyone in her hometown. After becoming so accustomed to her high and mighty life style in Tennessee, she comes off as a bit uptight and snooty during the first few days of her stay. For example, when her mother asks her to say hello to one of the boys she used to go to school with, Tess completely disregards him and acts as if he is beneath her before she has even had a decent conversation with him. "No, I couldn't. Not to that nerd. All he had to do was look around at everybody to see how idiotic he looked and try to improve himself, only he never did" (16). This shows that whatever perception of this boy, Kenny, that Tess had while they were in high school; she still has even in her thirties. Because she has not been home for so long, Tess's connection to the town and everyone in it has dwindled a great deal. In this book, Tess struggles a with being home when she could have been out recording new songs for her brand new album, but throughout the book she learns that in the end, family is all you really have and all that is important. Home is where the heart is, and coming back once in a while keeps you connected to your past, to who you once were....(extended to above review).
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Guest More than 1 year ago
This was one of those books that was easy to read into. I suppose Tess is just one of those characters I couldn't relate to, she didn't seem real to me. I loved Casey, I thought she was a jewel. So real and full of life. Kenny was fine, I just have a hard time believing he left his current girlfriend for a girl he had dreams about years ago. And that Tess just fell head over heals for him after doing nothing but talking bad about him. I will read more from this author but I would stay away from this one if I were you. There's bound to be better Spencer books!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I loved this book, but I wondered what happened to Casey. Did she make it? Did she fall in love with someone in Nashville? If anyone knows if Ms. Spencer wrote a book about her can you please tell me the Title. I love her books.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Small town Girl was the second book i read by Spencer....she does a great job describing the characters feelings and actions, and though it was not the best spencer book i've read, she did wonderfully. I've read it 3 times
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have read many of Lavyrle Spencer's books, this is her best! The characters are so real, this book was hard to put down!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I was given this book to read from my mom who has read all of LaVyrle's books. This was my first Romance novel and I just loved it. I could not put the book down, I re-read and re-read parts of the books. It was truly an outstanding book. I wish she would come back and write more, especially a sequel to this one would be great. My mom has got me hooked on Romance novels.....
Guest More than 1 year ago
Small town girl was the best novel I have read by Ms. Spencer. I READ IT THREE TIMES. The minute I began reading this book, I could not stop. I eventually did an all-nighter until I was finished. I was sad when the characters were, I cried, laughed and went along with the flow of the story as though I was a part of it. I was fortunate to read two more novels by Ms. Spencer which were also intriguing. I have recommended La Vryle Spencer's books to all my friends. Unfortunately, we do not have a copy of each novel in Tobago, but whenever we can find one it will be read and passed along. Congratulations Ms. Spencer.
Guest More than 1 year ago
A beautiful story - well written and hard to put down!!! No matter how far you travel and how 'big city' you become --- you can always come home again....to mama's house and the love you left behind....
Guest More than 1 year ago
I loved this book because it was full of detail and you felt like you knew each of the characters and could relate to them and cared about them. This was a great book, and I will continue to read more of Lavyrle Spencers work.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I would recommend this book to anyone because it's inspiring and really good. Even though this is my first book read by Lavyrle Spencer. I like this book because it just took me only 3 days to read. And that I would appreciate to read more books written by Lavyrle Spencer.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read this book recently and thoroughly enjoyed it. The characters are believable and pull you in quickly. I read the book in a day!! I am real LaVeryle fan if you havn't read her books you are really missing out. She gives believable characters and stories you can relate to and really get involved with. There is always a nice blend of humor and real life romance- not the sappy kind! I generally am not a 'romance' reader but I always enjoy hers!