One regret I had when we lived in Southern California was that we didn’t live closer to the San Diego Zoo. If we had been closer, I would have purchased an annual pass and spent as much time there as I could.
And yet we did live close enough that I visited more than once. Enough that it spoiled me for most any other zoo.
Room for Cream
by Erynn Mangum
Series: Maya Davis #4
Published by Amazon Digital Services
Publication Date November 30, 2018
Genres: Christian Fiction, Clean Romance
Setting: California Contemporary
Main Character Ages: 25-34
Written for: Adults
Presley McCoffrey just wants to make the mark.
The only child of two doctors, she’s never lived up to their dreams for her life. Choosing to do zookeeping was a huge disappoint to her parents and they’ve never let her forget it.
But now, there’s a chance to be the manager of the Hudson Zoo. And after putting in time at the place for ten years, Presley is bound and determined to get it. Maybe then, her parents will finally see that not only is she good at zookeeping, she actually likes it. Ten years at Hudson Zoo should make this job a shoe-in.
But just as she submits her resume, she sees the job isn’t a shoe-in after all. Jack Dominguez, her old co-worker and friend, is moving back from Seattle and also applying for the job. And everyone is talking about the new guy, coming from San Diego, who is also vying for the position.
When the Board of Directors suggests a two-week interim trial for each candidate, Presley knows she’s got the upper hand. After all, she knows the zoo like the back of her hand. She knows the staff, she knows the animals, she knows exactly what will happen. But then everything goes wrong and all of a sudden, life doesn’t look as cut and dry like she thought it would.
In the midst of it all, Presley gets close to Jack’s wife, Maya, who is also discovering that life isn’t what she planned. Does God have a plan that is better than theirs? And if so, what could He possibly be doing?
I try to read all of her books and though I purchased this one shortly after it came out in November, I was unable to squeeze in reading it until now. And, ironically, I realized after I was partway through that I haven’t read any of the other books in this series. How did that happen? I was glad that I didn’t feel lost not knowing Maya or Jack from the previous stories.
Paisley’s love for the animals and her daily trips around the zoo were so fun to read about. The various problems she had to deal with added interesting insight into what it would be like to work at a zoo. I appreciated that the author didn’t overly romanticize it and showed the reality of smells and other problems she would have encountered on a regular basis.
Room for Cream had me torn. I was cheering for Presley to get the zoo director’s job, yet really wanted it for Jack and for Alex. Each had such a compelling reason to be the best one for the position! I kept making up scenarios where somehow they could all get it but if the author had resolved the story in that way, I would have felt cheated with the easy solution.
My heart was torn for Presley and her feelings of inadequacy. With my parents supporting me so well, it is very hard to imagine what that would be like, yet the author had me experiencing a little of that emotion.
The friendship that sprung up so unexpectedly between Maya and Paisley was so refreshing. I loved Maya and am looking forward to going back and reading all her books to learn more about her. She and Paisley bonded over their grief for life not working out according to their own plans.
In the midst of the yearning, are fun zoo puns, a budding romance, and especially a growing awareness that God just might be more than a disinterested Creator and that He just might have a plan for Paisley’s life that is beyond what she imagines.
The ending of Room for Cream was satisfying and yet a cliff-hanger. It certainly left me hungry for more. The next book is slated for release sometime this spring. So I now have the opportunity to go back and start from the first book of the Maya Davis series!