Lean on Me (The Holloway Series)

Lean on Me (The Holloway Series) - HelenKay Dimon A career-destroying illness and a crooked manager have left Cassidy almost literally with nothing. Returning to her hometown isn't much help: she has a terrible reputation there, and even her beloved stepfather is avoiding her. The only person who seems to be on her side is Mitch, who insists that she still owes him a date from when they were in high school.I liked the idea of this novella -- a mountain-climber heroine is pretty cool -- but somehow it never came together for me. Some things happen very quickly -- Mitch almost seems to have a paranormal "fated mate" thing going on -- but the pacing generally feels off. And I rarely felt like I understood Cassidy's motivations or feelings about anything she did; as far as I could tell, she was acting randomly. Why does she keep rejecting Mitch at first? I don't know. Why does she panic and push him into a pile of fertilizer? Because it's supposed to be funny, I guess. Could someone with such bad instincts really have been a successful mountain climber?The story picks up a bit in the second half when Mitch and Cassidy get together and some real conflict occurs. And I liked Cassidy's stepfather Allan and their relationship. But the setting of the town full of gossipy busybodies is so unpleasant, it was hard to cheer when Cassidy declared that she was staying. Readers who find this sort of situation funny will probably like the story much more than I did.(reviewed from e-arc provided by netGalley)