Book Review: The Sweetheart Deal by Allison Morse

Ms. Morse has written a book well suited for general fiction readers, but with the addition of a sweetheart romance at the core.

John Adair is a proud man who was once unjustly accused of stealing. Nine years later he comes back to the small town of Pitney to get even with the company that had maligned his reputation, but one person interferes with his plans.

Ellen Hamilton is the privileged daughter of the most powerful man in Pitney. Back when she first knew John she was a blossoming and passionate young woman fresh out of college with the world at her calling and love in her heart. Now she is a shadow of her former self, believing her own story about being content running the local library and living her own brand of independence.

This 1950s period piece makes a couple of important points: 1.) Women had few options in this era, and 2.) Blind accusations (McCarthyism) can ruin lives.

Sparks reignite when John and Ellen come face-to-face at a small party hosted by Ellen’s mother the night John arrives in town. As the story unfolds their attraction cannot be denied or contained, regardless of the complications of her family’s business and John’s unjust reputation. Even when all seems lost this reader never gave up on their chance to claim a true and lasting love.

The secondary characters are also well-written and believable, including Ellen’s father, Sam, a controlling and devious man who won’t back down until he gets whatever he wants, the honest-to-God cowboy, Trigg, the busybody journalist Lila, and John’s secretary Cindy, on and on the characters came to life for this reader. George, the grand-fatherly mentor to both Ellen and John was my favorite.

Engaging prose plus an intricate and often fascinating story about cut-throat business practices in the early 1950s, plus a tender romance between reunited lovers had me engrossed until the triumphant and thoroughly satisfying ending in The Sweetheart Deal.

Recommended read!

Lynne Marshall

Interested in diversity (aka multiculturalism) in your romances?  Check out these recent books by Lynne Marshall


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13 Responses to Book Review: The Sweetheart Deal by Allison Morse

  1. Allison Morse says:

    Thank you for the wonderful review! I’m so glad you enjoyed my book. I’m such a fan of your work.

  2. Hi Allison,
    As you know, I thoroughly enjoyed your debut book. The subject was different and very interesting. I loved the era, too.

    Wishing you all the best and much success,

  3. Kady Ambrose says:

    What a great review of “The Sweetheart Deal,” Lynne. I loved it, too. The fifties are so often idealized, when the country was full of pride at winning the war and the economy was booming, but, as this delightful romance explores, there was a dark underside to the times. It’s truly magic how the profound observations of the time mix so perfectly with the novel’s primary story of Ellen’s journey back to her true self and to John, her true love.

    • Hi Kady- you’ve made a profound comment, and I couldn’t agree more.

      I really enjoy reading debut novels of writers I have known through LARA, it’s a treat to see all the talent in our chapter, right?

      Thanks for commenting!

    • Allison Morse says:

      Hi Lynne,

      Thank you for your wonderful comments. The story at its heart is a HEA romance but I found bringing in the good and bad of the time, added layers to the story and the characters that I found fun exploring. I’m glad you liked it : )

  4. I agree. I love this book!

  5. robena grant says:

    What a lovely review! I also adored this book. It was great to revisit a time period that I knew, but from the eyes of a child. It brought back many good memories.

    • Robena – I was lucky enough to read an arc for this book, and I decided to share the review I posted to both Amazon and Goodreads on my blog.

      I hope Allison’s book finds a new reader or two (or a lot more!) because of it.

      Thanks for always stopping by.

      • Allison Morse says:


        Thank you again for posting this review and all of your wise writing counsel as I took these first steps in the world of being a published author.

        Thank you!

    • Allison Morse says:

      Hi Robena,

      Thank you very much for your kind words and for you all your advice and support with this book. I so appreciate it!