Book Review: Day Leclaire’s Once Upon a Time

Posted February 15, 2013 by Kathy Davie in

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: Day Leclaire’s Once Upon a Time

Once Upon a Time

It is part of the , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , series and is a on October 9, 2012 and has 194 pages.

Explore it on Goodreads or Amazon.

Third in the Wacky Women romance series. The couple focus is on Julian Lord and Callie Marcus somewhere outside Chicago.

Originally titled Where There’s a Will.

My Take

On the whole this was a very predictable plot in its ups and downs with the dog’s human-like understanding throwing in a nice twist which gave it a great deal more interest. It’s worth the ninety-nine cents for a sweet read.

Although Callie’s inability to say no drove me almost as wild as it did Julian. Her inability to tell Julian everything also drove me nuts. What was the big deal about Cory and Donna’s being in the house??

I adored the idea of the house…sigh…and the lake…sighhh… And the people in Willow sounded lovely and caring.

Okay, so we learn where Callie gets her issues, why didn’t we learn where Julian’s arose from?

I was liking Brad for his comments about his wife; he’s at the bottom of my list for his comments to Callie. What a jerk!

Brad did learn one thing, which Julian also absorbed:
“Always depend on your wife.
And do whatever it takes to keep her.”

What was with that picnic she assembled? Admittedly, I do like everything she packed, but most of it is not what I would consider picnic fare. I suspect this is where I started losing it with Callie. “Finish” the repairs? Sounds more like she’s just gotten started. Then that bit where she “breaks” into the house and forgets what she’s should be doing next…? What. A. Ditz.

I loved the notes, those special memories, the “snapshots of her life”. What a lovely idea. I just adored the use Callie put them to. That’s how I’d like to go…better start working on them notes…!

I also loved the bet! A brilliant move on Julian’s part.

The Story

Julian is flying high with the new deal he’s just inked. Until he gets that text message from Callie. Aunt Maudie is gone.

It’s after the memorial that Julian gets hit with even worse news. Well, worse for a man as obsessed with organization as he is!

The Characters

Julian Lord “is a time management expert obsessed with rules” while Callie in unable to say no to anyone and is completely disorganized. Aunt Maudie Hannigan is the woman who took them both in and mothered them at Willow’s End in the town of Willow. Jonathan Lord, Aunt Maudie’s nephew, is Julian’s father and more interested in his archeological digs than anything else in the world. Including his own son.

Callie Marcus is the step-niece Aunt Maudie took in when her mother’s marriage to Jonathan didn’t last. Callie is a kindergarten teacher in Willow and has lived with Aunt Maudie since she was sixteen. Valerie is her best friend with the six-month-old Danny whom Callie is always babysitting.

Brutus is a two hundred-pound St. Bernard complete with brandy barrel (overly clichéd, anyone?, although cleverly used), who happens to understand everything you say. Donna and Cory Muldrew are the juvenile delinquents who make up the third task. Ted Muldrew is the idiot brother Callie actually allows back in the house. Suzanne Samuel is a woman who needs to broaden her list of victims, er, I mean, “volunteers”.

Hillary Pringle is Julian’s very efficient secretary at Executive Time Management in Chicago. Brad Anderson is his business partner. The clueless one. Gail is the ex-fiancée. Caleb Peters, Jr. is the current lawyer.

The Cover and Title

A very Harlequin-ish cover with the primary characters: a frustrated Julian on the couch with Callie hovering over him and Brutus looking quite quizzical in the background.

The title is straight from fairytale, and I’m guessing that Leclaire sees this story as both a fairytale, but also a Once Upon a Time when Julian obsessed over it and Callie ignored it.