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Reviewed by Natasha Jackson for Readers' Favorite
Stranded In Oasis sounds like a wonderful place to be stranded, unless of course you’re Max Rutherford III, who was ordered to Oasis as punishment. Okay maybe not punishment, but at the insistence of his iron-willed grandfather. Sent to the community of Oasis, Max III must spend the next 6 months at a trailer park in Arizona before learning if he will be made heir to the company that’s rightfully his. In the community of Oasis is where he meets Pilar, a free spirit who reminds him very much of his late tree-hugging father. Pilar looks at Max and sees a handsomer version of her overly ambitious, cheating ex-husband. Verna Clay paints a colorful picture of the characters including desert rats Pilar, Willie, Belle, Old Man Goodacre and feisty old Max I.
At first I really didn’t like Max. Of course he doesn’t want to go from high-end restaurants and designer clothes to desert dirt and unbearable heat, and he comes off as kind of a jerk for much of the book. But Pilar is great throughout Stranded In Oasis because she’s dealt with men like Max and she’s (mostly) unfazed by his wealth or his beauty. But slowly, with much time and proximity, Max and Pilar recognize kindred spirits in one another. He sees her as caring and open and knows that if he was a settling down type of man, she was the right woman for settling down. Verna Clay has created a beautiful story filled with some of the most colorful characters I’ve ever had the pleasure of spending a few hours getting to know.