by Susan Andersen

ISBN: 0-8217-6403-9
Reviewer Graphic Button Zebra Books
Mass Market Paperback

Here’s one story where Elvis has definitely not left the building! In fact, Sheriff Elvis Donnelly is about to enter the building, to the great concern of Emma Sands, who has secrets and fears that she’d love to lay on his broad shoulders, but daren’t.

I have always loved Susan Andersen’s books, mostly because her heroes are delightfully flawed, and Elvis Donnelly is right up there amongst my favorites. Scorned and almost reviled by his constituents in a small Washington State town, Elvis has an iron hook instead of a hand, and a scar marring his handsome face. But nothing dampens his appeal, especially to scared, tired, and broke Emma who arrives in town with her honeyed southern accent and her enchanting three-year old daughter Gracie. I’m not an enormous fan of children in romance novels, but here, little Gracie is not only a joy, but a crucially important part of the story – playing a pivotal role in the intricately and cleverly woven plot and also in the “humanization” of Elvis.

Emma is wonderful, spunky, courageous, and independent. Watching Elvis trample those barriers and demand her passion and consequently her trust is a pleasure. And watching Elvis as he regains his sense of fun, not to mention his self-respect, is awe inspiring.

This is a wonderful romance on a variety of different levels, layering word-perfect characterization on top of a very solid story. We have come to expect nothing less from Susan Anderson, and she hasn’t let us down yet! If you’re a fan, grab this one immediately. If you’re new to this writer, you should still grab this one immediately, and then go get her other stories. You won’t be disappointed.

Reviewed in June 2003 by Celia.

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