Review copy was received from Publicity team. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Folk Around and Find Out by Penny Reid
Series: Modern Folktales #2
Published by Self-Published on October 18, 2022
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Source: Publicity team
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Hank Weller doesn’t help people. He leaves that do-gooder nonsense to his best friend, Beau Winston. Hank does what he wants, when he wants, with whomever he wants—and Hank does not want to hire Charlotte Mitchell to be an exotic dancer at his club, The Pink Pony. Sure, he can’t help noticing the dips and curves of her, how shrewd, smart, and funny she is, the fire in her hazel eyes. He's always noticed. She’d probably draw a crowd and entice the regulars. But after Charlotte's messy, public divorce made Hank’s club out to be the culprit—and made her the single mother of four kids—he doesn’t need or want any additional bad press courtesy of Charlotte Mitchell. Or the distraction. Unfortunately for him, the town’s prettiest charity case doesn’t seem to understand the meaning of the words nope, no, and never.
Charlotte Mitchell doesn’t much like Hank Weller. Once upon a time, she used to. Years ago, she liked him a whole heckofalot despite other folks in town labeling him as “eccentric” and “nonconformist,” which were polite southern alternatives to "filthy rich" and "self-centered douchebag." Her opinion of him changed dramatically after he volunteered to be her date to junior prom and then promptly stood her up. They haven't so much as acknowledged each other in over a decade. But a sudden family emergency means Charlotte needs access to Hank’s club ASAP. Unfortunately for her, the narcissistic fancy-pants doesn’t seem to understand the meaning of the words help, generosity, and compassion.
But he’s about to find himself schooled. Charlotte is going to teach Hank a lesson once and for all about basic human decency, whether he likes it or not.
I have loved every Winston Brothers series book and now we have a new spinoff series, the Modern Folktales. The characters featured are friends and sort of relations to the Winstons. It began with Jackson James, the son of the sheriff and a sheriff’s deputy himself. Now we learn about the best friend of Beau, Hank Weller, the infamous owner of the Pink Pony strip club.
I really admire the ability of Penny Reid to develop characters that are such individuals and make them and all their differences so dear to me. I don’t feel like I knew Hank well and I only remember Charlotte because she briefly tried to date Jackson James. Neither is at all like one would suspect. The general view is Hank is a sleazy business owner and rich; Charlotte is a poor divorcee left with four children under ten by her cheating husband. But they are both so much more.
We get alternating chapters from Charlotte and Hank’s point of views. Initially, Charlotte is just trying to get more information about her cousin, Heather, who has been in trouble for awhile and the family is worried. Hank is irritated because he’s already been made a pariah since her cheating ex met the bimbo at his club. But Charlotte ends up being excellent at her work at the Pink Pony and Hank just wants to do anything he can to help her.
Charlotte doesn’t have time and energy to date. She has four young children who need her attention and love, meals, laundry, school activities and Charlotte has a full-time job at the school. I love stories with children and the chapter about Hank coming over to do a repair when Charlotte isn’t home yet and dealing with the four kids is my favorite. Like Charlotte, the way he actually knows and cares about the kids broke my heart.
I’ll leave you to discover how clever and caring they both are about the people who matter to them, and how Cletus is able to help them with their problems. I wished for just a little more about their life between when they got together and the epilogue. I wondered if Charlotte continued working at the school or what business ventures Hank had. But perhaps a tiny bit of that will come out in the next book, All Folked Up, which will continue with Hannah, a Pink Pony alumni. I loved Folk Around and Find Out for the amazing ideas and perspectives of the characters and for the emotional journey on which it took them (and me).
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