Thursday, May 1, 2014

Pressed Pennies by Steve Manchester

Publish May 13, 2014 by The Story Plant

From Goodreads

Rick and Abby grew up together, became best friends, and ultimately fell in love. Circumstance tore them apart in their early teens, though, and they went on to lives less idyllic than they dreamed about in those early days. Rick has had a very successful career, but his marriage flat-lined. Abby has a magical daughter, Paige, but Paige's father nearly destroyed Abby's spirit.

Now fate has thrown Rick and Abby together again. In their early thirties, they are more world-weary than they were as kids. But their relationship still shimmers, and they're hungry to make up for lost time. However, Paige, now nine, is not nearly as enthusiastic. She's very protective of the life she's made with her mother and not open to the duo becoming a trio. Meanwhile, Rick has very little experience dealing with kids and doesn't know how to handle Paige. This leaves Abby caught between the two people who matter the most to her. What happens when the life you've dreamed of remains just inches from your grasp?

My Review:

Oh My Gosh!   With every book Steven Manchester writes I become a bigger and bigger fan of his.   He always manages to touch my soul and make me get pulled totally into every story he shares.   Pressed Pennies is no exception.  

Abby starts out as a character that I felt sorry for, having to live with a mean alcoholic husband and fighting constantly while their daughter hears it all is such a hardship for her.  Quickly she shows her strength by leaving him and making a safe and healthy home for Paige.  When she finally meets Richard again, after a brief childhood “romance”, I could feel the life come back into her body.   She had a reason, other than Paige, to get up each day, she had someone who would cherish her and protect her.   I immediately began loving the relationship between Richard and Abby, while also keeping Paige and Abby’s relationship in my thoughts.   How a mother and daughter interact is so important. 

Paige is a typical young girl struggling with her mom moving on with her life.   While Abby does everything right, keeping Paige in the loop of the relationship and also talking to her about her feelings and what she needs, it made me sad to hear how Paige was so disrespectful to Richard and her mother.   I knew the space had to be given for Paige to come to terms, but seriously that girl was rude so many times.   Richard did everything he could to win her over, giving her the space she needed and including her in most of their “dates.”    I loved Paige’s friends, especially the ones that shook her up trying to make her see how happy and loved Abby was with Richard.

I cannot complete my review without talking about Richard.   He was absolutely perfect.   Through all the frustration with Paige and with Abby having to put Paige first, he kept his calm.  He managed to show his feelings without losing his man card.   The fact that Richard never really gave up on winning Paige and having a real relationship with Abby made him truly the best man.  

This is a sweet and lovely story about second chances, blended families, and lost loves.   If you miss this story you will be sorry.  I highly recommend it.

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Early Praise:
"Pressed Pennies is priceless! Steve Manchester has an obvious love of words and an amazing ability to use those words to create lasting images in the reader's mind. His detail-oriented, richly drawn characters and descriptions make this story leap off the pages." - Joyce Handzo, In the Library Reviews

"Pressed Pennies is a warm, lovely story about generosity, unconditional love and acceptance, and a celebration of family." - Jane Bowers, Romance Reviews Today

"An exceptional story about family, life and love...Pressed Pennies examines family life at a much simpler time" - Books2Mention Magazine

"From Steven Manchester and the wonderful characters of Pressed Pennies, we
learn about real life and true love…and that you can go back." - Phyllis Muhlhauser, Romance Book Cafe


  1. Many thanks for the wonderful review and for sharing PRESSED PENNIES with your readers!