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SAID NO ONE EVER – Stephanie Eding
Sourcebooks Casablanca
ISBN: 9781-7282-3997-2
April 4, 2023
Romance Comedy

Choteau, Montana – Present Day

Ellie Reed has just broken off her romance with her steady but boring boyfriend and is on the verge of possibly losing her work-at-home job. A nice vacation in the middle of nowhere is all she asked for, and she gets one after searching online. Ellie ends up on a farm in the middle of Montana, but as she’s arriving, an emergency vehicle arrives and takes her presumable hostess off to the hospital. Ellie doesn’t know what to do, but there is no one else around to advise her, so when she sees that there are animals that need to be fed, she jumps in to help until she can find out what’s going on. But it soon turns out that Marilyn, who owns the farm, is going to be laid up for a while and asks Ellie to take care of the farm until she returns home. Has the vacation turned into a working stint for Ellie? Then Marilyn’s grandson, Warren, shows up, startling Ellie. 

Warren isn’t happy to see Ellie. He usually stays in the small house that she is staying in, and he didn’t know about Marilyn’s accident until he found out upon his arrival. While he wants Ellie gone, he doesn’t evict her because his grandmother forbids him to. Warren sees Ellie as a stubborn pain in the rear, but he agrees to let her stay because his grandmother likes her. If his mother and aunt found out their mother was renting a house to a stranger, they would commit Marilyn to an institution. Meanwhile, Warren doesn’t know that Ellie is being wooed by Marilyn’s neighbor, Blake. If he knew, he’d tell her the truth about Blake…

SAID NO ONE EVER is a cute and funny read right from the start. Ellie thought she was going to enjoy a relaxing vacation and get away from her demanding family while she decided what to do next in her life. The last thing she expects is to have her hostess fall and end up in the hospital. With no one else around, Ellie helps, though she has never taken care of a donkey, two sheep, and numerous chickens. After getting instructions from Marilyn after visiting her at the hospital, at least she now has an idea of how to feed them. The arrival of Warren changes things a little. He’s there on his annual trip to fix things around the farm. They spar a lot but get to know each other. It’s clear that Grandma and grandson love each other, but is it enough to fend off the evil sisters aka Marilyn’s two daughters? They’ve been threatening for years to move their mother to Spokane and into a nursing home. Marilyn wants to stay on the farm. 

Warren and Ellie’s relationship is tenuous at first. He doesn’t want her there, while she feels she is obligated to be there as per Marilyn’s wishes. Despite the friction, there is a glimmer of attraction between them. While SAID NO ONE EVER does have a romance in it, most of the story revolves around the emotional journey of Ellie. She came to Montana not sure about her future, but soon she knows that she wants to stay—at least for now. It’s a crazy crew in this rollicking tale, and readers will chuckle on many occasions. Will Ellie end up staying forever? You’ll have to read to the end to find out.

If you love a lighthearted romance with a bit of kookiness, then SAID NO ONE EVER is a perfect read. 

Patti Fischer

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