The Fixer Upper by Mary Kay Andrews: Book Review

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The Fixer Upper

4 Stars

Dempsey Killebrew is having a very bad day. She and her handsome boss, Alex, are all over the evening news, smack in the center of a political scandal. They’re lobbyists accused of buying a Congressman’s votes with a vacation to the Bahamas and, um, hookers. Not the situation that a rising young lawyer wants to find herself in.

Injury is added to insult when Alex fires her. With no other options, Dempsey reluctantly accepts the deal her father offers–she can fix up the family mansion back in the tiny town of Guthrie, Georgia, and he’ll give her part of the proceeds from the sale. Life in a small town is more interesting than Dempsey expects, especially when she realizes that the “mansion” is a dump, a belligerent old lady has decided the house is hers, FBI agents are sniffing around, and there are some very eligible men in town.

I had a ball listening to this! I’ll admit that this isn’t really any new ground for Mary Kay Andrews, but she does this so well that I just don’t care. Old houses/antiques, spunky heroines, and handsome men are a winning combination in her hands.

Dempsey herself is a little whiney at first, but if I’m being honest, I would whine much more if I found myself in a similar situation. And then to go running home to Daddy! I just wanted to tell the girl to grow up. But when she gets to the house and she has to start dealing with contractors and Ella Kate, the mean old lady, and the FBI, she has to learn to stand on her own feet. And she handles it beautifully. I’m pretty sure I was cheering by the end.

Speaking of Ella Kate, she is mean as a rattlesnake. I wanted to reach through my car stereo and smack her around. I am not lying. The things she says and does! At least she was good for a laugh after the initial frustration wore off. She’s got her own story too.

And those Berryhill men–I’ll take either one, father or son. Carter has all the genuine charm of the Old South and Tee is an enlightened representative of the New. They both know how to treat a woman. And Tee is hot. Not in a let’s-get-naked kind of way, although there is a touch of that, but in a let’s-have-a-real-relationship kind of way. He’s a guy that you want to be around for the long haul, and you know that he’s got commitment on his mind too.

The narrator, Isabel Keating, did an amazing job. She resisted the urge to go with a syrupy Southern accent. That’s not to say that old Carter doesn’t drawl his vowels out, but she kept it to a minimum. Her character voices were great. She covered everything from 4-year-old boys to an ancient old lady and she pulled it off. I was startled the first few times I heard the boys or Ella Kate speak. I would have sworn that someone else was doing their voices. It was almost eerie.

For a fun, romantic read that will keep you smiling (except for when you want to hit someone who is just asking for it), I highly recommend this one.

Read an excerpt.

Find author Mary Kay Andrews on her website, her blog, Facebook, and Twitter.

Buy The Fixer Upper at

Read for my own Southern Literature Challenge.

Audiobook Week

I have an affiliate relationship with Malaprop’s, my local independent bookstore, and Better World Books. I will receive a small commission at no cost to you if you purchase books through links on my site.

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  1. I just read my first Mary Kay Andrews book-Summer Rental-and I really liked it. I've been curious about this one too. I'll have to look for it at the library. Sounds like a great summer read.

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