There is a law irrevocably decreed in the state of Alabama that you must choose a team. You're either an Auburn fan or an Alabama Fan. There is no fence sitting or waffling. It’s one or the other. However, it doesn't mean that you can’t fall in love with someone from the opposing side. They even have a name for it ... House Divided. Ellie Eaton and Brady Jackson were just such a couple, but unfortunately they were separated by more than just their loyalty to a university. Against the odds and against the rules, Ellie and Brady dove right into the forbidden current of friendship and then love. Their sweet, innocent romance was one for the storybooks, but old rules and family prejudices ultimately tore them apart, just as they were each ready to depart to their beloved universities, Ellie to Auburn and Brady to Alabama. But years later, when near tragedy strikes, they're brought together again and given a second chance at love, this time with help from some very unlikely sources. House Divided is a sweet romance filled with southern charm, a dash of humor and, for good measure, a pinch of lies and intrigue.
Praise for the Book
"House Divided was one of those books that made me want to ignore my children, my to-do list, my need for food, and pretty much anything else that would keep me from reading. Jennifer Peel has a real gift for depicting first love, heartbreak, and hope." "A tender, soft, story that truly is a gem to read." "Ms. Peel has created a story that stands as a tribute to true southern gentility, it's foibles and strengths. Truly a beautiful read that gives heart and meaning to true devotion. She truly knows how to weave a story that has beauty and true southern charm."
"Can we please talk?"
"I don’t think there’s anything else left to say, Brady."
"Ok, Ellie, but if you think I’m going to let you walk out of my life again without a fight, then you have another thing coming, so saddle up, Ella Lu Eaton."
"Goodnight, Ellie." And just like that he hung up.
He was on my ever living last nerve tonight. Well, you have another thing coming, Brady Jackson. "And by the way, I didn’t walk out of your life in the first place. You pushed me!" I don’t know why I said that out loud, it wasn’t like he could hear me.
I stomped up the stairs and took a long, hot bath. As I lay there soaking, I tried not to think of that fool. Who did he think he was, telling me to saddle up? Well, cowboy, you better hold on to your hat because I have no intention of losing this rodeo.
This book automatically appealed to me as soon as I saw the title and synopsis. As a born-and-raised Alabama woman who lives less than an hour away from the University of Alabama's campus, I understand the term "House Divided" very well!
Alabama and Auburn's football rivalry is as much a part of Alabama history as Hank Williams and Helen Keller. People have been fighting over which team is better for as long as anyone can remember. This rivalry has truly divided houses just as the title suggests.
Ellie and Brady Jackson's story has an all too familiar feel for me. I know several couples whose weddings had to have seating charts that set all of the Alabama folks on one side and all the Auburn folks at the other in order to keep the peace. I felt like I was really a part of this book because my Tiny Tyrant was born at St. Vincent's and I've done my own Christmas shopping at the Summit as well!
This book isn't just for Alabama natives, though. I think anyone who has ever felt obligated to do things to make their family happy or to keep the peace can relate to this book and Ellie and Brady's story. You can tell these two people love each other so much but they also love their families and are fiercely loyal to them; almost to the point that they are willing to be miserable in order to make their families happy.
The characters in this book are so wonderful and felt so REAL. Ellie's Aunt Lu was my favorite character. She reminded me of a lot of older southern women that I know, including my own "Aunt Lu". Her love and devotion to Ellie really warmed my heart and I just LOVED seeing her give Brady a hard time. Brady Jackson is the perfect southern gentleman and it is easy to see why Ellie fell so hard for him. Brady's determination to once and for all have Ellie in his life forever flows so well in this story, especially when he has help sending her his way from a very unexpected source.
I give this book five stars for such a clean, endearing story. (They even wait to have sex! Shocker, right? Because who does that anymore, hmm?) I highly recommend this book and PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, let me know if you read it!!!
Oh yeah, and just in case you're wondering....
Author Jennifer Peel
I'm a Colorado native who currently calls Alabama home. I'm the mother of three amazing children who have grown up way too fast. I enjoy the mountains, vacations at the beach, date night with my husband, late night talks with my kiddos, touring model homes, and pink bubblegum ice cream. I grew up on the Western Slope in the Colorado Rocky Mountains. I learned to love the beauty of the outdoors, but not camping--unless staying overnight at the Marriott counts. I met my husband while living in Denver and then several years later we traded the beauty and majesty of the Colorado Rocky Mountains for the art and culture of Chicago, Illinois. My family and I enjoyed living near this world class city, despite the crazy cold winters, but new adventures awaited in Northern Alabama--just six hours away from Orange Beach, Alabama. These three magical places (the Colorado Rocky Mountains, Chicago, and Orange Beach) are the inspired locations used in several of my books.
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