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Playdate    by Thelma Adams order for
by Thelma Adams
Order:  USA  Can
Griffin, 2012 (2012)
Softcover, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Wanda Plourde

The Ramsays (Lance, Darlene and their daughter Belle) live in a small community. They're in a very nice neighborhood, own a very nice house and drive very nice cars, all due to Darlene, the classic workaholic. Lance has opted to be a stay at home dad since he was unable to find a weatherman job. Their daughter Belle is the apple of his eye, even though she borders on disrespect. But then she is a tween. Things aren't always peachy keen in the Ramsay household, with all the pressures of Darlene's diner business.

Alec, the financial backer for Darlene's diner's growing empire, is a womanizer. His wife Wren likes to do yoga with Lance. When Wren lays the mat for yoga with Lance, it isn't all about breathing exercises. And babysitter Julia, who works for Alec and Wren, has an agenda of her own.

The Santa Ana winds are blowing, endamgering their community. Fires are spreading across southern California and no one feels safe. The grand opening of a new Darlene's diner looms, Belle's birthday party being the theme - with a pushy business partner, adults crossing each others' thresholds, and a child who just doesn't want to be around for it. Can they all deal with the stress? Or will it blow into a whirlwind of disaster?

I enjoyed taking a peek into what seemed like a small community soap opera, reading about their complications, insecurities, and a struggling marriage. There are infidelities, business pressures, and of course a good perspective on the children's thoughts. Though I found the novel a bit slow in the beginning, it eventually grabbed me and I had to keep reading. It's witty, with good dialogue and a story that is plausible.

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