The Bottom Line

The Bottom Line

by Sandy James


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When life gets tough and love is hard to find, four friends take their troubles to lunch. Surviving a failed marriage and an illness that almost takes her life, high school teacher Mallory Hamilton needs the Ladies Who Lunch more than ever . . .

After a year of upheaval, Mallory has had her fill of change-with one exception. Her house is a disaster, and she wants it fixed. Hiring a contractor to finish the projects her ex-husband started will help her banish the past so she can return to the life she had before everything went awry. But her contractor is sexy, sweet, and single, which threatens the peaceful, solitary life Mallory has planned for herself.

Ben Carpenter has had a hard time raising his daughter without his ex-wife's help. His new client's projects will give him the extra income he needs, not to mention afternoons alone with a gorgeous woman. Though their attraction is undeniable, Ben sees the fear and pain hiding in Mallory's beautiful eyes. But how can he help her if she won't let him in? Ben can fix just about anything-but can he fix Mallory's broken heart?

Word count: 75,000-85,000

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781455575220
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Publication date: 05/06/2014
Series: Ladies Who Lunch Series
Pages: 336
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Sandy lives in a quiet suburb of Indianapolis and is a high school psychology teacher. She owns a small stable of harness racehorses and enjoys spending time at Hoosier Park racetrack. She has been an Amazon #1 Bestseller multiple times and has won numerous awards including two HOLT Medallions.

Please visit her website at for more information or find her on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest as "sandyjamesbooks."

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The Bottom Line 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Judy-Ree More than 1 year ago
I was introduced to Sandy James with her paranormal romance Alliance of the Amazon Series.  This was followed up by her historical western romance series, Safe Haven. Needless to say when I saw a contemporary romance, I just had to get it.  I truly believe that Sandy James can do romance in any style.  The Ladies that Lunch are a group of 4 women teachers, 2 in their 30's and 2 in their 20's, who eat lunch together every day and have for several years. The women have become not only best friends, but a support network for one another. This is Mallory's story. Mallory Hamilton has survived a tough year. First she was diagnosed with breast cancer, and if that wasn't bad enough, her husband left when the going got tough. She is currently cancer free and fighting hard to get her life back in order, starting with her house.  Ex-hubby wasn't known for his follow through and has left the house in a state of disarray after years of DIY starts and stops. When a fellow teacher recommends Ben Carpenter as a contractor she can trust, Mallory meets with him to find out what will need to be done. Ben Carpenter is a single father, struggling in a depressed economy to not only raise his tween-age daughter, but deal with the shenanigans of his crazy ex-wife. Working for Mallory after hours is the perfect way to supplement his income. The attraction between the two of them was instant, yet sweet. I have said it before and I will say it again, I don't normally read books that I know will make me cry.  However, with this book, watching Mallory fight to get her life back, and her Ladies who have her back, is such a beautiful thing it brings tears to my eyes.  There is a scene where the Ladies show there love and support of Mallory, that just thinking about, brings a tear to my eye, even days later. This is such a book of hope and courage, you feel better just reading it.  I loved this book, 5 stars all the way.
ruthmarie94 More than 1 year ago
Mallory is a High School teacher that has had a long hard year. Her husband leaves she has been ill and now she needs to start over with her life. Her husband left lots of projects to finish in the home when he left and now she wants them done. She asks a friend if they might know a contractor that could do the repairs. He has her call Ben. Ben goes to give an estimate on some repairs that need to be done to Mallory. He really needs the job as he has a daughter to take care of. When he starts to work on the repairs at Mallory’s the build a friendship that he wants to see if it can be more. Although he is not sure he is ready for that as is ex-wife was a not the best. As they the friendship grows Ben sees the fear and pain that Mallory is hiding. Will she let him in? Can he win her heart? I loved the emotions in this book as they are real in some lives. This may be because I know what it is like to survive illness and to try to live one’s life. This is a very moving story on what it is like to move on from pain and let life take you where it wants. I look forward to more in this series.
DiiMI More than 1 year ago
I was absolutely lost in this amazingly realistic contemporary romance. Sandy James has a gift for taking love, adding in contemporary twists and rubs, deadly serious topics and coming up with a completely engaging, warm story of love, second chances and the gift of loyal friends. Life deals out the cards, you play what you’re dealt, win or lose and sometimes only the support of good friends keeps you afloat. For Mallory Hamilton, the Ladies Who Lunch, her nearest and dearest friends who have all had tough times, come together to support each other in both good times and bad. Mallory has had a lot of bad lately and she is struggling to pick up the shards of her life and move on. Deciding her home needs some serious work, she hires Ben Carpenter, yep, Ben Carpenter, the carpenter! As he repairs her home, he also repairs her heart and brings her joy. What Mallory doesn’t realize is that with all the baggage Ben carries, she, too is a balm to his soul. Will they each take a chance on love and life again? The Bottom Line by the talented Sandy James is an uplifting read full of smiles, tears and the joy of finding someone who accepts you for who you are, period. Sandy even added some good sides to the evil ex-wife, while imbuing Mallory with a strong sense of self in almost every instance. Ben is warm and caring, yet virile and manly, as his past has had its share of ugliness, too. Light for the most part, Sandy is able to add extremely serious issues without making this read a maudlin tale. Perfect for summer reading, relaxing into a great escape, that has you rooting for the heroes all the way.
LilyElementBookReviews More than 1 year ago
Mallory Hamilton, is a teacher that is a breast cancer survivor. Her ex-husband ditched her as soon as he heard she had cancer, so she's not really in the market for a relationship. Trying to move on with her life and get rid of bad memories of a failed marriage; Mallory decides to hire a carpenter to make the house her own. I admired Mallory's character, she faced having cancer and a scumbag ex-husband that ditched her as soon as times got tough. The Bottom Line is based after the fact, so I was glad to see that she didn't sit and pout about it, she decided to make her life her own and change things to what she wanted. Ben Carpenter, is a single Dad that is a carpenter. Yes, he's a carpenter and his last name is Carpenter. He doesn't find that humorous, but I do. He takes Mallory as a client and manages to not only repair her house, but also her heart. Though there are a few bumps along the way. Ben is a really straight forward guy, he has no issue saying what he feels and his daughter is the same way. He was a good fit for Mallory, she needed someone like that since her ex-husband left her not only doubting men, but also herself. The Bottom Line is an emotional read that tugs at the heartstrings. I connected with Mallory, and was glad to see that the Ladies that Lunch, several of her co-workers, all had her back through her journey. I've enjoyed all of the books I've read by Sandy James and The Bottom Line is no exception, so I highly recommend her work. I cannot wait to read the next book in the series, Signed, Sealed, Delivered is out on July 1st, 2014!
Sailon More than 1 year ago
Looking for a sweet and tender romance, The Bottom Line will hit the spot.  Highlighting a group of teachers that lunch together and stick together through thick in thin, this story gives us a strong core group of characters that you'd like to call friends.  This is Mallory and Ben's story. Mallory is a breast cancer survivor who hires Ben Carpenter, single dad and handy man. Both characters have emotional / relationship baggage that interferes with their budding attraction. The Bottom Line oozed real. This could be your neighbor or your friend, making the story completely relatable. I laughed and even felt that clutching in my chest with the characters heart break.  The Bottom Line was a wonderfully enjoyable read, leaving me with smile on my face. I can't wait to see what happens next with the ladies who lunch. Definitely a series worth following.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Another great book by Sandy James! So emotional, yet still so much fun! Bravo!!