by Maureen Child

October 2001
ISBN: 0-373-76398-0
Reviewer Graphic Button Silhouette #1398
Mass Market Paperback

The thirteenth book in Maureen Child's Bachelor Battalion series, Last Virgin In California, is great. It's surprised me that Ms. Child has been able to maintain her standard of writing in this series. That she has been says quite a bit about her creativity and skill as an author. Bachelor Battalion has been one of my favorite series for a while now and I've read every one of the books. Last Virgin In California is a wonderful addition.

Lilah Forrest is a free spirited young woman who'd been raised by a military father. She'd grown up thinking that she was a disappointment to him, despite the obvious affection they have each other. She just knows he'd have preferred a son, and she'd compounded that failure by being unable to fit into the military life style. Too make matters even worse her father is constantly trying to match her up with some Officer or another. But she's determined never to marry a Marine.

Sergeant Kevin Rogan didn't know what he was getting into when he agreed to escort the Colonel's daughter around while she was on base. He certainly hadn't seen it as a matchmaking attempt. In fact after meeting Lilah, with her crystals and silver bells he understands why her father felt the need to assign her a babysitter. She was obviously a flake.

Both Kevin and Lilah have every intention of making their enforced contact with each other as painless as possible. But neither is prepared for the attraction that builds up between them. Kevin comes to realize that there is much more to Lilah than crystals and beads and Lilah comes to realize that Kevin is more than just an Officer. Unfortunately, Kevin's past stands in their way, as he needs to overcome old hurts and see what's in front of him. Lilah doesn't have it easy either. She's spent her entire life regretting that she couldn't be what she's thought her father wanted. Now it's time to let him know how she feels and let old wounds heal.

You know from the beginning of the book that Lilah's father and their relationship is going to have a big impact on the story. But things didn't go down the way I expected them to as Ms. Child turned what could have been a thoroughly predictable story into something more memorable. It also made Lilah's father more real and it will be interesting to see if he gets a story of his own somewhere down the road. It would serve him right if Lilah turned the tables on him and set him up.

Last Virgin In California is a very quick read. I'd intended to read a few chapters before bed and finished the book in, literally, one sitting. If you're looking for something to put a smile on your face and warmth in your heart then this is an excellent book for you. The characters are easy to bond with and you'll be completely satisfied when you're done.

Reviewed in November 2001 by JaToya.

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