by Stephanie Bond

August 2008
ISBN: 978-0-7783-2607-6
Reviewer Graphic Button Mira Books
Trade Paperback

Carlotta Wren won't be selling any high-end merchandise at her job at Neiman Marcus for a while. A recent mishap has left one arm in a cast, so she has some unexpected time on her hands. She is happy to go on a road trip with her brother's boss, Cooper Craft, to pick up the body of a celebrity in Florida and bring it back to Atlanta. She has received information that her long missing parents may have been involved with a crime near the area of the body pick-up, so perhaps she can locate them. Even though they skipped town to avoid prosecution ten years ago and left her to raise her brother Wesley who was only nine at the time she still loves and misses them. Carlotta was barely eighteen herself and lost her fiance' Peter as a result of the scandal.

Wesley is very intelligent, but has an awful gambling addiction problem. His most recent problems have had him on the lam after a very unpleasant experience with a loan shark dubbed "the Carver". He stows away with Cooper and Carlotta on their trip to Florida in an effort to avoid "the Carver" and to make good on a promise to Peter to look out for Carlotta. Peter bailed Wesley out and wants to get back with Carlotta now that he is free.

Others, who are not official body movers, seem to want to pick up the celebrity's body. Was an asthma attack the true cause of death or is a possible murder the reason so many people want to claim the body? Will Carlotta find clues to her parent's whereabouts or just put herself in danger once again?

Body Movers: 3 Men and a Boy is the third in Ms. Bond's delightful series. The author brings the new reader and fans up to speed as she cleverly weaves the back story into the first few chapters in a subtle manner. Although Wesley is a bad boy to the extreme, the reader is allowed to learn more about his motivations and vulnerabilities. He is certainly a ladies man and his exploits make for a rather steamy scene.

Poor Carlotta is still conflicted about her love life and is still juggling three men. It is easy to understand why she can't settle down when she has her brother's and parent's misadventures constantly on her mind.

The non-stop action and mixture of suspense and romance make this novel a satisfying, fun read. Since I have lived in metro Atlanta for many years, I could relate to the many locations in the storyline. Many thanks to the author for recognizing the use of libraries, since being a paraprofessional with a large public library is my "day job". I was thrilled to read at the end of this book that books 4 through 6 will be coming back-to-back in 2009. I will be looking forward to more fun with characters who have become like friends.

Reviewed in July 2008 by Roberta.

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