COOKIE THERAPY                                                KARLA BRANDENBURG

To escape notoriety from her role in the school shooting she barely survived, Elizabeth Lambert moves from Houston to Hoffman Grove, Illinois. Plagued by panic attacks and nightmares, she’s determined to embrace her second chance at life, knowing that death could take her in an instant. A one-night stand with a local handsome firefighter should remind her that she’s alive, but like a good cookie, once is not enough to satisfy her craving. Will he reject her when he learns about the blood on her hands?

Firefighter and paramedic Matt Billings fights his attraction to the alluring new bookshop manager. She dangles a one-night stand under his nose, but the last time he gave in to such an offer he ended up with a child. He is determined to be a better man than his philandering father. Can he convince Elizabeth that her past is not as terrifying as suddenly being a parent, and a relationship is worth more than just a checkbox on her bucket list?

     Witnessing trauma is bad enough.  When you are involved in it and then made to feel you caused it well… Your whole world gets turned upside down and you become not sure what is real and not real.  So, you stuff it all down and become not well to talk about it.
     Yet, when you have been told your whole life you are a no one or at least given that impression then you believe and accept anything you are told.  When tragedy struck in Elizabeth Lambert’s life her mother thought it best that with all the press that she leaves Houston and go to her Aunt Brenda Mead’s.  She is a former high school teacher in Hoffman Grove.
     You see her aunt needs a manager at her bookstore for the one she has is leaving.  Since her aunt had retired she no longer wanted to work the store.  So she asked Elizabeth to come and manage it.  Which she was happy to do.  Elizabeth up until she started high school used to come for a month every summer until her uncle died.  It was the only time she truly felt loved.  Her mother had told her she makes her aunt sick so she could stay with her anymore in the summer time.
     Her travels from Texas to her aunts was a wild ride and ever since the event in her life cookies took on even more meaning.  They were real stress relievers.  Before arriving at the house she stopped at the grocery store to get some from the fresh bakery.  She got the ones in the clear plastic container.  When she went to open it she sliced her hand to where she cut it but good.  BLOOD!  A LOT!  SPOTS! A lot before her eyes and she was feeling light headed.
     Luckily two paramedics are walking in as she is going down.  The one that gets to her first is Matt Billings one of the most eligible and sexy bachelors in town.  He sees what’s going on and rushes to her side and guides her to the ground and put her head between her legs.  When Ted his partner cleans the blood they see she needs stitches, granting her a free ride in their chariot.
     While in the back with her Matt starts to notice her beauty and how attracted he is to her.  Something that has never happened while attending to a patient.  His body was even coming alive another first for him that he had hushed a little over 2 years ago after his affair that caused his break up with his fiancĂ©, Audrey.  He was granted a baby with Shannon a woman from hell.  Although he never wanted children he loves his son Trey immensely.
     Now here was this woman Elizabeth who was way tempting.  But he knew there was a story of trauma somewhere because of the way she reacted to the blood.  PTSD either military or some other form of trauma or tragedy. After they dropped her at the hospital he sees her again at Mrs. Mead’s again that night.  There was a car accident and it was in front of her home.  Then you start to see the small town living kick in.  The hotlines and fix-ups.  They don’t gossip the share out of love.  They are the “Family of Friends” misfits from high school who came from difficult backgrounds who have always been there for one another no matter what.
     I really enjoyed this book.  There was so much to laugh about in this book and yet the author was able to bring the reader along through her trauma with her feeling her emotions without making it feel too overwhelming for the reader.  Then coming out the other side at each stage of healing.  The small town antics were hilarious.  The makeshift family I love which I have had several times throughout my lifetime and those friends you never forget.  One call and you're there ready and wait to know what they need if they called.  May need to juggle but just ask and I am there.  They are that way with us too.  Forever friend/family.  I love the way it was so true to life and really funny.  The whole story dynamics just worked.  I give this 5 ++++ stars.  Provided by  Follow us at:

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