by Susan Andersen

January 2002
ISBN: 0-380-81917-1
Reviewer Graphic Button Avon Books
Mass Market Paperback

Head Over Heels is the first in a trilogy about three Marines. And Iím sad to say I didnít like it very much.

When Veronica Davisí sister is murdered and the suspected husband nowhere to be found, Veronica needs to put on hold her interior design career and return to Fossil to look after her six-year-old niece. Itís bad enough that she has to come back to this small town, itís nearly unbearable that she is now the owner of a bar. Her late fatherís bar, the place she spent years reluctantly working at.

So when she returns, she not only has to take up parenting skills for her beloved niece, but she also has to deal with a new bar manager, a drifter by the name of Cooper Blackstone. The man dares to force her into an apron again when heís short staffed and refuses to leave his new lodgings, the attic of her sisterís place Ė and now her temporary home.

Retired Marine, Cooper Blackstone feels just as aggravated with Veronica. How is he to resist a woman with strong maternal instincts when he expected her to be like her selfish and flirty sister? He needs to concentrate on clearing his brotherís name. Not that heíd tell anyone of his relation to the presumed guilty husband.

And thatís about it. There isnít much more to the story, apart from Veronica not wanting to be like her mother, and Cooper not wanting a woman like his motherÖ The attraction is there. They act on it. Itís hot like always in Susan Andersenís books, but somehow the story is lacking.

Iíd say itís the slow pace, too slow for my liking. It also felt too cozyÖtoo niceÖtoo sweet. Even the secondary romance didnít really convince. Not even sure that it was needed at all.

There is a lot of emotional baggage both have to deal with, something that doesnít keep Veronica from having sex with Cooper. She doesnít want a relationship with a drifter, still she trusts him enough to tell him about her insecurities and to keep on having sex with him. It baffled me, as I couldnít find the moment she realized his worth, at least not until the very, very end. Attraction? Definitely! Love? Iím not sure.

The whole conflict is only really about prejudice and pride. Not enough to keep me interested, especially as the suspense of this novel was limited to a few pages and a villain I found not very surprising.

Yes, I am disappointed, but I know that the second release in this trilogy, Getting Lucky, is much better. Read Head Over Heels if you need to read the whole of a series or if you feel any Susan Andersen book is a worthwhile one. Otherwise, just skip it.

Reviewed in March 2003 by Kris Alice.

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