HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW
Book: Next Door Daddy
Author: Debra Clopton
Publisher: Steeple Hill, 2008
Language level: 1
(1=nothing objectionable; 2=common euphemisms and/or childish slang terms; 3=some cursing and/or profanity; 4=a lot of cursing and/or profanity; 5=obscenity and/or vulgarity)
Recommended reading level:
Rating: ***** 5 stars
(5 stars=EXCELLENT; 4 stars=GOOD; 3 stars=FAIR; 2 stars=POOR; 1 star=VERY POOR; no stars=NOT RECOMMENDED)
Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker
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Clopton, Debra. Next Door Daddy (Published in 2008 by Love Inspired, a trademark of Steeple Hill Books, 233 Broadway, New York City, NY 10279). Following the death of her husband Marc in an accident two years earlier, widow Polly McDonald moves her eight year old son Gilbert Marcus McDonald (she calls him Gilly but he prefers to be known as Gil), his seven month old shar-pei puppy Bogie, and their cockatiel Pepper from Dallas to Mule Hollow, TX, where she buys a big, old Victorian house and turns it into a bed and breakfast. It just so happens that their new next door neighbor, rancher-cowboy Nate Talbert, is a widower whose wife Kayla had died from cancer three years before. At their first meeting when Nate comes by to introduce himself, Polly is drenched from trying to fix a leaky faucet, which Nate manages to shut off.
All the ladies in town, Lacy Matlock, Esther Mae Wilson, Norma Sue Jenkins, and Adela Ledbetter-Green, who befriend Polly, try to get Polly and Nate matched up, even though the lady veterinarian already has her eyes on Nate. At first Polly is open to the idea, but the reclusive Nate is rather cool and distant. Then, as Nate begins to warm up to the possibilities, Polly becomes a little scared and unsure. Will the two ever get together? What can the townspeople do if anything to facilitate the relationship? And how does Gil feel about all this? Next Door Daddy is identified as “Mule Hollow Matchmakers, Book 7,” so there are other books in the series.
No bad language or sexual content occurs. All the characters are regular churchgoers, and their religion is obviously important to them as they seek to honor God in everything that they do. People who enjoy a good, modern romance but wish to avoid the “steam” so prevalent in the current “Harlequin” style of book, should like the “Love Inspired” novels. Hey, I’m a guy, and even I can appreciate a nice romantic story. As one reviewer noted, it is “Always good enjoyment for me to read books without adult language and super ‘R’ rated love scenes.” The next book in the Mule Hollow Series is Her Baby Dreams. Love Inspired also has historical and suspense series of romances as well.