by Julie Garwood

September 2001
ISBN: 0-671-03401-4
Reviewer Graphic Button Pocket Books
Mass Market Paperback

Having enjoyed Julie Garwood’s last contemporary, Heartbreaker, I really looked forward to the sequel.

The first line of the book snagged my attention, to say the least.“The girl was just plain amazing with a knife.” That’s when I was sucked into the life of Jake Renard and his little girl, Michelle. The little girl made me laugh with her innocence like no young child had in a book before.

We then meet the Sowing Club, as they had begun to call themselves. The club consists of a group of men who have laundered money into an offshore account that they plan to divide into four equal amounts among the group.

Michelle has grown into a brilliant and sought after surgeon who has opened her clinic in the small town where she grew up. But, to pay the bills, she’s moonlighting as a surgeon at a well-to-do hospital.

Michelle is attending the same function Theo Buchanan is. When she he passes out on top of her, she gets him to the hospital and removes his appendix, the cause of the pain and discomfort that had been troubling him for the last few days.

After some humorous dialogue, Michelle and Theo part ways as both return to their own lives, but after some time spent remembering Michelle, (there must be something about a doctor that takes out your appendix!), Theo travels to the small town of Bowen, Louisiana, where he finds all kinds of unusual, not to mention illegal, dealings.

One, Michelle’s clinic has been broken into and vandalized. Two, Michelle has been sent evidence on the illegal activities of the Sowing Club… only she hasn’t realized it yet, which leaves her unsuspecting of why her clinic was vandalized in the first place. But amidst Michelle’s mysterious troubles, is the growing attraction between her and Theo.

What made the book so excellent was how she described the settings and people. At times, I felt as if I could just reach out and touch the trees or person that she was describing.

What I found lacking was the climax of the story. Nevertheless, I did like the fact that Theo doesn't let his pride keep him and Michelle apart. Also, while Theo is a great character, he's just lacking as a hero. To me, he seems more like a teenager with a crush than a man who is falling in love. The sex left a lot to be desired as well. For those who are familiar with their stories, this is a book that's wilder than Diana Palmer's work, but tamer than Linda Howard.

I enjoyed this book so much because the author described the people and settings so well. At times, I felt as if I could just reach out and touch the trees or person that she was describing. It is a good book and I do recommend it. I'm also looking forward to reading the sequels that Julie Garwood is rumored to be doing.

Reviewed in May 2002 by Lucy.

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