by Charlotte Hughes

September 2002
ISBN: 1-55166-941-2
Reviewer Graphic Button Mira Books
Mass Market Paperback

Hot Shot is a tale about a woman discovering who she really is and opening up to love.

Frankie Daniels is a tough Atlanta cop until a personal indiscretion costs her the life she’d built and earns her a demotion and transfer to Purdyville, South Carolina. Frankie goes from detective to deputy with a decided lack of grace and a chip on her shoulder the size of Texas. But Purdyville has a disturbing effect on Frankie. The town, its inhabitants and its attractive sheriff slowly but persistently chip at the wall Frankie has built around herself.

Sheriff Matt Webber looks at Frankie and falls in lust, but her tough attitude initially rubs him the wrong way. Sparks between the two fly wild and free as they’re forced to work together. Matt comes to realize, Frankie’s not as tough as she makes out. The revelation is as much, if not more, a surprise to Frankie as it is to Matt. Having to re-evaluate herself and the choices she’s made in life isn’t easy for her. Starting a new relationship so soon after the last one blew up in her face is even harder. Add to that the town bully declaring war after she creams him her first day in town, a nagging, worry wart of a mother, a rise in Purdyville’s crime rate, and a randy bull - ready, willing, but unable - and Frankie’s life is just too complicated and hilarious for words.

Readers will alternately sympathize with Frankie and laugh at the chaos and the people around her. Despite the attitude she has early on, she’s still a character readers can connect with. Hughes does a wonderful job showing who Frankie is and why. She’s a character that truly comes to life.

Matt, too, is a well-developed character. He’s had troubles just like everyone else, but he’s come to know himself. While that doesn’t make his life perfect, it does bring him steps closer to being content. Hughes gives us a glimpse into Matt’s family life that makes him into a solid character, readers can identify with. However, I’d have liked to see some sort of closure on the problems Matt experiences with his family and that wasn’t provided.

Hot Shot has several secondary characters, and Hughes puts her talent to work spinning and weaving these characters seamlessly around and through Matt and Frankie’s lives, using them to pull the different aspects of this story together and making it work.

Reviewed in August 2002 by JaToya.

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