Once in a Blue Moon
By Chrissy Dionne
Jan 1, 2006 - 12:10:00 PM

Bettina Blanchard is called Bad Betti by the majority of the people in Bluebonnet, Texas. Developing breasts early and her mother being an alcoholic contributed to Bettina's 'reputation.' After their mother's death, Bettina raised her sister, went to beauty school, and started her own business. She fully intends to move out of the little town that she hates so much as soon as her house sells, until Ty gives her a reason to stay.

Ty Boudreaux is newly divorced from Rhea. They'd been together since grade school and married right after graduation. He's successfully hidden the fact that Rhea abused him throughout their relationship from everybody except his immediate family. Now single, Ty's in counseling and attempting to rebuild his life. Having Bad Betti step into his life may turn out to be the best counseling money couldn't buy.

Bettina has been in love with Ty since the sixth grade so finding out that he's divorced is music to her ears. She'll be more that happy to help him get over Rhea, even if that does break her cardinal rule number one: never sleep with a boy from Bluebonnet. It's the day Ty's divorce is final and he doesn't want to be alone. Fortunately Bettina is willing to comfort him in any way he needs. It becomes apparent to Bettina that Rhea damaged Ty in some way. He's hesitant and unsure of himself. Not that Bettina's complaining, she's bold enough for them both. Afterwards, Bettina thinks that she may have a real chance with Ty. Ty has come to the conclusion that their night together was nothing more than pity on Bettina's part and he coldly rejects her the next time they meet. Days later Bettina and Rhea run into each other in the grocery store. Rhea's with Billy, the loser she shacked up with after leaving Ty. When Rhea becomes insulting, Bettina doesn't backdown. She gives as good as she gets. When Rhea begins insulting Ty though, Bettina gets physical and punches Rhea. Some things are just more satisfying when settled physically.

Celia Stuart's ONCE IN A BLUE MOON is a story sure to touch the reader's heart on many different levels. Ty and Bettina both betray an inner strength and vulnerability that amaze me. Ty endures years of abuse by the woman who's supposed to love him and yet he's still gentle and caring. Due to circumstances, Bettina has given up a lot of her dreams over the years that would have left many women bitter. She's a loving, caring woman who's perfectly willing to fight for her loved ones. Ms. Stuart brings spousal abuse to the forefront in this story, depicting the effects it would have on the male victims in a heart-touchingly personal way. I am curious about Ty's siblings and would love to find out more about each of them. They're a fascinating group of people. I was floored by Zander's attitude and behavior, he's the one brother I would love to delve into further. ONCE IN A BLUE MOON is a sweet tale full of spice, love, and eventually acceptance with a completely unexpected ending that will leave you in tears but still with hope for this charming couple.

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