by Rachel Gibson

January 1999
ISBN: 0-380-80121-3
Reviewer Graphic Button Avon Books
Mass Market Paperback

Take one home-town girl who left town years ago, and one ‘bad’ boy, who still rides the Harley and lives up to, or down to, his reputation. Bring them together for a funeral, bind them together by the will of the deceased, and you have this unusual little story from one of the funnier writers of romance.

Delaney Shaw has managed to create a perfectly acceptable life for herself away from Truly, Idaho. She’s almost managed to forget the night she and Nick Allegrezza nearly “did it” ten years before. So coming back to Truly for her stepfather’s funeral is a challenge for Delaney. Seeing Nick again is a double challenge.

These characters are charming, and this is a fun story. Watching Nick and Delaney dance around their feelings for each other is like watching caterpillars dance the quadrille. Their steps are mind bogglingly confusing. There is, however, a surprising edge to this romance. The deceased, Henry Shaw, was about as rotten and manipulative person as you could imagine. Even dead, he won’t let go of his aims. Delaney’s mother is another character who is jarringly awful. It seems that these days, a lot of writers are getting cathartic with the mothers of their heroines – I’ve read some real doozies lately, and Gwen Shaw, is right up there. I sincerely hope that if my kid ever writes a novel, his characters don’t have a mom who acts like a Stephen King creation.

In spite of these brief trips to the dark side, this is a fun read – it’s Rachel Gibson, so I am not surprised. She captures life in a small town very nicely, and Nick is certainly a wonderful hero – all rough on the outside and tender on the inside. Delaney, too, is fun, torn by her desires, her long-held beliefs, and her need to get her hands on Nick.

So for fun and laughs amidst the snows of Idaho, check this book out – I’m not sure if it’s going on the keeper shelf, but it certainly brings a smile.

Reviewed in February 2003 by Celia.

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