MOMS ON MISSIONS
JESS MOLLY BROWN
– SYNOPSIS –
Artist Vince Russo wants to advance his career but his devout mother, Diana, wants grandchildren. Vince lives in Niagara Falls, the Romance Capital of the World, and he doesn’t even date!
Diana joins the Moms on Missions (“MOM”), who strive to better the lives of their clients’ kids. MOM installs Vince’s fantasy girl upstairs in the duplex where he lives.
Their pick for Vince is sick of dancing to her mother’s tune, so she certainly won’t admit she finds her sensitive, playful neighbour sexy. However, she’d love to make him her pseudo-boyfriend to get MOM off her back.
Will these young rebels come together organically, or is there no hope for their moms?
Title: Moms On Missions
Series: Mommageddon Series #1
By: Jess Molly Brown
Publication Date: May, 2016
Genre: Contemporary/Humor Women’s Fiction
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– EXCERPT –
“Fuck you!” Drum Boy slams Mrs. P.’s door in his superintendent’s face.
Vince stares open-mouthed at the door in front of him, then turns on the landing to find Paeng at the foot of the stairs, dressed for bed, with no glasses. Steaming, Vince tromps back down the stairs, in time to hear the drumming start again. “What a nerve this guy’s got! Little shit.” Now Drum Boy is singing, too. Badly. Vince stops, wondering whether to turn around and march back up there to rattle his teeth.
Instead, he stomps back into his unit, Paeng at his back, and calls Damon.
“Vince, hey, how’s it hangin’?” Damon asks cheerfully. “Want to hit The Hill for a few beers? I’m dying to get out for a bit.”
“No. Do you hear this?” Vince holds up his phone to the ceiling, hoping it picks up the noise.
Boom boom chuck budda boom boom chuck budda “I don’t need a frickin’ girlfriend!” Boom boom chuck budda boom boom chuck . . . “My neighbour is an asshole!”
“What is that?” Damon asks stupidly.
“It’s your new tenant,” Vince growls. “He drums twenty-four seven. I have explained this to you, Damon. Twice. The last time Paeng and I had two minutes’ peace was the day before he moved in. I am losing it, man. I’m going to go postal soon. If I do, you are going to have to explain why to our mothers, and you are going to have to comfort them both while I’m getting corn-holed in Kingston Pen for capping the little bastard, capisce?”
“Whoa-ho-ho, there Vince! Did you say there’s a guy living up there? It was supposed to be Mrs. Maggione’s friend Gloria’s daughter, Mary. She’s gor—” Damon checks himself, and Vince scowls. “Um, I mean uh . . . Trudy?” he calls to his wife. “Get me another beer!”
Vince counts to ten. “Did Moms on Missions set this up?” There is silence for a couple beats. From Damon, not Drum Boy. The noise from above is as obnoxious as ever.
Damon sighs. “Yeah, you know it. I didn’t even meet the Chiclet.”
“No, no, it’s a guy! And the name on the mailbox says D. Darren, not M. diGiordano. Why didn’t you come to check out the tenant?”
“My mother wouldn’t put a crackhead in there, ya know?”
“And a drummer makes a better tenant because . . .”
– REVIEW –
(Note: This was a difficult review to write. Full disclosure here — more than a bit of Italian blood flows through my veins. So when I began to read Jess Molly Brown’s debut novel, Moms on Missions and discovered that MOM were a group of Italian women who meet for the sole purpose of exercising their God-given right to meddle with the lives of their adult children, this reader developed some serious flashbacks. Grazie to all who talked me down from the ledge.)
Diana Russo wants to be a Nonna. Plan and simple, she wants grandchildren. But in order to have grandchildren, her son, Vincent needs to marry the right girl. With no current or acceptable daughter-in-law prospects in sight, Diana pleads her case to the Moms on Missions (MOM) group.
Comprised of Italian mothers dedicated to the betterment of their children’s lives, the MOM pride themselves on their successful matchmaking endeavors. Over biscotti and rum balls, the MOM plot to match up Diana’s son, Vincent (Vince), with Gloria diGiordano’s daughter, Mary Danielle (Dani).
Twenty-eight year old Vince is currently living in the bottom unit of a duplex located in Niagara Falls and owned by his cousin. It’s a trade off — he lives rent free in exchange for acting as the superintendent for his cousin’s properties. Educated to be an accountant, Vince’s true gift is painting and to that end, he’s saving up to study art in Toronto. While he does sell the occasional canvas, Vince’s main source of income is derived from the sales of souvenir portraits he sketches for the tourists visiting The Falls. It’s an uncomplicated, pleasant life — for the most part . . . .
Twenty-three year old Dani has completed her music studies in Toronto, and is looking for a place to relocate. A hearing-impaired musician, Dani and her blues band are just starting out — making a name for themselves in a place like Niagara Falls would boost her career. Lucky for Dani, her mother, Gloria, knows of a duplex near The Falls with an upper flat available . . . (oh those clever, clever MOM).
Diana Russo and her MOM posse are not your stereotypical meddling mothers — these women know their way around social media. Their use of both public and private Facebook accounts, combined with a few tactics from the Old Country, make it pretty clear that these ladies wrote the tutorial on covert operations.
Eh, but the apple does not fall far from the tree. Vince, Dani and the rest of the MOM offspring are aware of the secret Facebook account, and regularly compare notes regarding the MOM activity on a website called Mommageddon. And it’s on Mommageddon that Vince and Dani conspire to outsmart the MOM. (Sure, and if you think these kids are going to best the MOM, this reader has a fountain in the Trevi District of Rome that can be yours for a song.)
Moms on Missions is the first novel in Jess Molly Brown’s Mommageddon Series, and it’s an absolute doozy of a debut. Author Brown is a master at writing situational comedy and in her skilled hands, Vince, Dani, the MOMS, as well as an expansive cast of characters will have the reader howling with laughter.
Written with the perfect mix of heat and tenderness, and with Niagara Falls as a backdrop, the romance between Vince and Dani left this reader in a state of giddy delight. Both of these characters are likeable and well crafted. The MOM cast of characters are believable and not cliché. (Although this reader did have great issue with the flying tureen of wedding soup.)
The ancillary characters are funny and endearing as well, setting the scene for future books in the Mommageddon Series. And with a plot (and sub-plots) that move at a rapid, steady pace, Moms on Missions is over far too soon. Well done, Jess Molly Brown, well done.
*ARC received from the author in exchange for an honest review.*
– ABOUT THE AUTHOR –
JESS MOLLY BROWN
Don’t be fooled by the seeming tranquility, Jess is scheming. There are a lot of characters in her head and all of them are yelling for attention.
She edits for professional authors and is always tutoring somebody. She got her start six years ago, in fan fiction, and is proud of it.
Four great kids, one husband *coughbiggestkidofallcough* and two dogs ensure that the house is always messy. The garden’s overflowing with blooms, but weedy. The grass always needs cutting, provided it’s not buried beneath snow. She lives in Canada, eh? The dogs are walked, the kids get fed, the hubbs hasn’t killed anybody yet, the books Jess reads she reviews, and somehow, the people in her head manage to make it into stories. Occasionally, she embarrasses her kids by doing Zumba in front of their friends. It’s just how she rolls.
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