by Rachel Gibson

February 2004
ISBN: 0-06-000925-X
Reviewer Graphic Button Avon Books
Mass Market Paperback

Daisy Monroe has a secret. One she’s carried for fifteen years, through a life in Seattle, and the passing of her husband to cancer. She’s returned to her home town of Lovett, Texas, to settle some old debts, and set the record straight. She’s also returned to a town changed in many respects, but much the same in others – Jackson Parrish still lives there and still has the power to affect her in a lot of disturbing ways.

I’m an avowed Rachel Gibson fan, and couldn’t wait to read this novel. Her writing has always made me laugh, and I knew I was in for an enjoyable few hours with her characters. All the ingredients are present – an independent heroine starting to make a new life for herself, a hero that is absolutely ‘to-die-for’, and an assortment of wild and weird supporting characters.

The romance that develops – anew – between Daisy and her first love, Jackson, is believable and incredibly hot. Ms. Gibson takes us right into Jack’s heart and lets us see Daisy’s fears and indecisions with unerring accuracy. However…I have to confess that it took me a while to warm up to Daisy. What she did – the secret she kept – was just wrong. It was hard to feel much sympathy for her, given the chaos she’s about to unleash on Jack Parrish’s life. Jack is definitely the victim here, in so many ways, and I really found myself wanting him to give Daisy the punishment she deserved.

But by the latter part of the book, Ms. Gibson had seduced me so thoroughly into the story that I was cheering for both of them, and keeping my fingers crossed that they would resolve their problems and make a life together. With less of the humor that permeated Ms. Gibson’s other novels, such as See Jane Score and Lola Carlyle Reveals All, this is still an engrossing novel, and one I can certainly recommend to lovers of well-written contemporary romance.

Reviewed in January 2004 by Celia.

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