by Barbara Treat Williams
Starr Spenser can’t handle another day in Las Vegas trying to cope with messes made by her irresponsible brother and low-down dad, especially after being “text dumped” by Alana, the girl she’d thought was “the one.” So, when she’s summoned to her hometown of Portico Ferry, Missouri, Starr doesn’t hesitate to pack up her Jeep Wrangler and drive to the sleepy river town. Sophie, the housekeeper who helped raise Starr, is worried that Letisha, Starr’s stepmother, is being conned out of her life savings and the bed and breakfast she owns.
But when she arrives home, Starr finds that Letisha’s problems aren’t the only ones she must sort out. Her childhood friend, Firah, has just learned she has a sister and wants Starr’s help in finding her. During the search, feelings Starr buried about her straight best friend surface. Only this time around, her friend is not so straight. Repercussions for loving Firah, a second generation Iranian-American, could be severe. Firah’s family has an arranged marriage in mind for her, and Firah’s family adheres to a strict old country code of conduct that does not include lesbian love.
Then, when Starr’s dad and brother show up in Portico Ferry with Alana—and a hit man on their trail—Starr finds something much more sinister afoot in Portico Ferry that must be resolved before the problems of the only mother she’s ever known go away.
Lambda Literary Review
Williams skillfully weaves together the premise that family is greater than the sum of the blood flowing through their veins... A delightful telling of a madcap tale that will entertain and amuse—with an added dose of reality in the form of ethnic awareness and familial loyalty, and a little love thrown in for good measure.