In her latest novel, Smart Girls Think Twice author Cathie Linz takes readers back to the small town of Rock Creek. This time we are introduced to Emma Riley, a college professor who has come to town for two reasons. One is to help celebrate the upcoming marriages of her sisters, Leena and Sue Ellen, and the other is to do a study about why the small sleepy town is undergoing something of a resurrection.
One of Emma’s first stops is to the local tavern known as Nick’s Place to ask relative newcomer Jake Slayter to participate in her study. Jake, who was once a professional extreme sport enthusiast refuses to participate, but finds himself attracted to the studious Emma, and when the opportunity arises to escort her to her sisters’ weddings he doesn’t refuse.
While Emma is a little flabbergasted at the idea of Jake taking her to the weddings, she really wants to know why he’s refusing to participate in her study, and better yet, why he’s in Rock Creek trying to blend in, and not allow anyone to know of his whereabouts. Does he have a deep dark secret, and if he does what could it be?
Jake and Emma are really two different sort of characters who shouldn’t be able to find common ground, but a writer who has the talent of Ms. Linz can make it so that two people who are adrift in their lives can find a common ground, and not have it be so unrealistic as for the readers to be tempted to throw the book and shout loudly NO WAY!!!!
As I read Smart Girls Think Twice I was impressed with how Emma was willing to come out of her studious professor image to be a little flirty, but not to reduce herself to a groupie. Jake was also willing to let go of some of his privacy to let people who were beginning to care for him into his life, and to help others who seemed a bit adrift.
In the end I was quite satisfied…even if it did seem as though I might not get the happy ending. I love the setting that Ms. Linz has developed over her last several books, and hope that we continue to get more books set in Rock Creek or Serenity Falls in the future.