The Roanoke Girls by Amy Engel – a Review

The Roanoke Girls by Amy Engel – a Review

 

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Description:
“Roanoke girls never last long around here. In the end, we either run or we die.”
 
After her mother’s suicide, fifteen year-old Lane Roanoke came to live with her grandparents and fireball cousin, Allegra, on their vast estate in rural Kansas. Lane knew little of her mother’s mysterious family, but she quickly embraced life as one of the rich and beautiful Roanoke girls. But when she discovered the dark truth at the heart of the family, she ran…fast and far away.
 
Eleven years later, Lane is adrift in Los Angeles when her grandfather calls to tell her Allegra has gone missing. Did she run too? Or something worse? Unable to resist his pleas, Lane returns to help search, and to ease her guilt at having left Allegra behind. Her homecoming may mean a second chance with the boyfriend whose heart she broke that long ago summer. But it also means facing the devastating secret that made her flee, one she may not be strong enough to run from again.
 
As it weaves between Lane’s first Roanoke summer and her return, The Roanoke Girls shocks and tantalizes, twisting its way through revelation after mesmerizing revelation, exploring the secrets families keep and the fierce and terrible love that both binds them together and rips them apart.

Review:

Did you wake up screaming?…Was it a nightmare?”

 “Did you wake up screaming? Was it a nightmare?”
 I shook my head, confused and a little scared.  “No.”
“Then it was nothing like that.”

Nightmares are the least of concerns; losing sleep a luxury in comparison to the knowledge, and experience, of surviving in the house Roanoke built.  Amy Engel crafts a book equal parts compelling and disturbing.  The Roanoke Girls details a family dynamic, a cycle of abuse without limit or censure, until one resolves to face the demons and expose the plague.  This story is cringe-worthy, but so artfully written, you’ll feel its haunting beauty.   

“My head knows this place is no good for me, but my stupid, traitorous heart sings HOME.

Lane Roanoke is going back home to Kansas.  Only, you’re not supposed to go home again, right?  Or does Oz always welcome you back?  Trust me when I say Roanoke is light years away from fantasy.  When Lane’s cousin, Allegra, goes missing, Granddad summons Lane home.  Ten years ago, Lane ran away from Roanoke, vowing to stay away from her cryptic family.  But guilt, its “dirty fingers under [her] skin” have forced Lane to return.  Only Allegra could revive Lane enough to revisit this hell.  Allegra, the rebellious, reckless, spirited cousin whose mysterious disappearance reopens wounds and shines a light on silent, insidious corruption.

Don’t think me dramatic, but I don’t think I can say much more.  Amy Engel parses out pivotal memories that stem from a malignant root, but the identity isn’t the most startling.  To quote Ms. Engel, “it’s the WHY of it” that brings the story to full culmination. You will hear varying degrees of blame, tainted versions every one, but “life picks away at all of us, backs us into corners we never anticipated.  Turns us into people we never thought we’d become.”  A riveting story of innocence lost.

The Roanoke Girls were born into an underbelly of family taboo cloaked in dark seduction and heartbreaking complacency.  Amy Engel weaves in light and hope in the most desperate of times.  I told her The Roanoke Girls was memorable, but now I can honestly add recommendable.  

Reviewed by Carmen

Copy provided by Publisher

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Secret Stalker by Lena Diaz – a Review

Secret Stalker by Lena Diaz – a Review

 

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Description:
A SWAT officer must protect the woman who broke his heart 

Years ago, detective and part-time SWAT officer Max Remington proposed to the woman he loved. Her response? To flee town—and Max’s life—under a cloud of suspicion. Folks said Bexley Kane killed the man “allegedly” stalking her and got away with murder. Now Bex is back in Destiny, Tennessee, but their tense reunion is cut short when bullets start flying, and this time, they’re aimed at her. As Max fights to keep Bex safe, he’s also fighting to protect his heart. Can they unravel the secrets of the past in time to save each other? Or will Bex’s final secret destroy them both?

 

Review:

How many times have we attempted to do the right thing only to still cause heartache or grief, regardless of the best intentions? Too many to count – me, too. But when love is on the line, doesn’t it behoove you to listen to your heart, since it’s the one in need of healing? Max and Bex are flung into a hostile situation, which they handle admirably, but their 10 year separation reopens gaping wounds and wreaks havoc anew.

Bex was supposed to go unnoticed in Destiny, settle her mom’s estate and escape unscathed, but small towns have the uncanny ability of drawing attention to one of their own. Max, detective and SWAT member, is just as crazed by Bex’s unexpected presence, but two attempted threats on her life demands his professionalism (and is more dangerous to her health) than facing their failed past. Secret Stalker is book 2 in Lena Diaz‘s Tennessee SWAT series. Max was the stud in the background of book 1 (Mountain Witness available here), so jumping into his story has been deliciously anticipated.

“It was as if the universe was against her, throwing obstacles in her path to keep her from leaving.”

As if threats upon her life aren’t escalating, the death of a high school classmate haunts Bex (and the town). Destiny is small-town charming, but it has a long, unforgiving memory and Bex being back home stirs up several troubling emotions in lots of complicated people.

Bex is being harassed and Max, as a detective, is following the case closely. Closer because of his prior relationship with Bex. While the investigation unfolded, obstruction of justice nagged at me. To quote the book’s synopsis, Bex flees town “under a cloud of suspicion”. It seems unlikely that a key figure would disappear without serious repercussions. Well, attempts on Bex’s life certainly qualify, don’t they? It’s collusion at worst then. Max is brave and aware of the larger legal picture; aware that connecting the dots is the only way to secure Bex’s complete exoneration. His heart and feelings for Bex blur the lines of job execution.

Second chance romance is one of my favorite tropes, the heartfelt pleading, even the thrill of the head-turning chase, but Max and Bex didn’t sizzle from the onset. Oh, their bodies reacted out of proximity and space (working together doesn’t diminish attraction), but this low simmer allowed Ms. Diaz to fully flesh out her characters and develop plotlines, so who’s really complaining? The steam gradually ensued and it was a perfect union.

The pacing of the story was a bit unusual this time around. Learning the details of Bex’s “silent stalker” so late into the story felt like the build-up of animosity came too late? I wanted to rail against this guy from the beginning! Alas, interesting twists enhanced the resolution. I was banking on one suspect, but Ms. Diaz veered and spun my theory into another. Really enjoyed the action-laden finale!

Lena Diaz continues to expand on her wonderful Tennessee SWAT series with Secret Stalker. Do not miss this or her next!

Review by Carmen

Copy supplied for review

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First Comes Desire by Tina Donahue – a Review

First Comes Desire by Tina Donahue – a Review

 

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Description:
On a lush, secluded island, one passionate adventure leads to another . . . . Diana Fletcher means business. The beautiful, innocent, reverend’s daughter has traveled all the way to a tropical island off Madagascar on a mission: To find her brother-and to punish the man who drove him to a life of piracy. But when she comes face to face with the enemy in question, the handsome, powerfully seductive man is not at all what Diana expected . . . . Tristan Kent never intended to harm Diana’s brother. A man of humble origins, Tristan claims he tried to save him from another ruthless captain. Diana is desperate to believe he is telling the truth . . . and that the intoxicating desire that escalates between them is true as well. But can she trust him? Or is Tristan’s story-and his heart-nothing more than fool’s gold? Amid the haze of sensual delights and soaring ecstasy Tristan has in store for her, all will be revealed . . .


Review:

Can we just take a moment to pause and appreciate the book cover? That’s Tristan the pirate. He will invade your heart, and make demands of it, before the unconventional courtship even begins. *sighs* Diana, a proper English woman, sets off to rescue her young brother who was kidnapped by Tristan and his band of unruly heathens. Or so she thinks. First impressions are unflattering, but dubious, until you unearth its heart. The layers of Tina Donohue‘s book undoubtedly declare: First Comes Desire is the path to love.

In no uncertain terms, Tristan makes his intentions known and Diana is not immune to his charms. I found him brazen and off putting initially, but there was never any artifice behind Tristan: He would plunder. Once the story unfolded, however, Tristan merely wanted Diana to look beyond skin deep; to discover what he wanted to give so freely. Oh, there was plenty of desire. Tristan awakened Diana’s sensual self and her lust was as healthy as his. The matter of love, a far more perplexing emotion than desire, shook Tristan to the core. I’m not comparing Tristan to Christian Grey, but there are parallels of the swoon-worthy variety and I was quickly on Team Pirate!

I got so wrapped up in the development of the relationship, Tristan’s approach while possessive was undeniably appealing, I must inform you of a rancorous former lover hell-bent on vindication, a shipload of disgruntled pirates on Tristan and Diana’s tail, a young brother trying to spread his wings, and a heartwarming, unforgettable path to love. It all goes back to love, doesn’t it? If you’re lucky. 😉

“Women were not meant to yield. Women could yield. They might even enjoy doing so, but only with the right man. One they desired. First came desire. Respect and love followed.”

Ms. Donahue marries erotica with character evolution quite deftly. Compelling even. It’s pretty easy to love Tristan and forgive his domineering nature, but when trust and devotion are cherished, there is joy in surrender. First Comes Desire, the first book in the Pirate’s Prize series was unforgettable. I look forward to more.

Reviewed by Carmen

Copy supplied for review

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Mountain Witness by Lena Diaz – a Review

Mountain Witness by Lena Diaz – a Review

 

Mountain WitnessAmazon / B&N / Kobo / BAM / Book Depository

Description:
A woman in hiding and a man on a mission in the Smoky Mountains

Detective Chris Downing doesn’t know much about his neighbor. In the rural town of Destiny, Tennessee, Julie Webb lives a life of seclusion, rarely even offering a smile or wave. Only when Chris hears her frantic screams one night does he gain a glimpse into the life of a woman in hiding, and in saving her life, he is forced to kill her attacker. But Julie’s troubles are only beginning to unravel. When Chris learns the identity of Julie’s attacker, questions of trust are raised and suspicions run high. Together they will uncover the motives of a killerand the undeniable attraction between them.

 

Review:

Death comes to us all, but by means of murder? That’s sure to keep Julie’s guard up, fend off anyone remotely interested. “Too bad the good manners his mama had instilled in him…wouldn’t allow him to ignore her the way she ignored him.” A blessing, turns out, to live in such proximity to Detective Chris Downing. But wild thoughts invade and derail the promise of the hot, new neighbor: “That maybe Julie Webb knew she was moving next door to a cop all along. That she had planned this whole thing from beginning to end. *(In italics, please – this last line)* That she’d just used Chris as a weapon to commit murder.” Things just got very interesting in Destiny. Mountain Witness is book one in Lena Diaz‘s awesome, new series, Tennessee SWAT. It is a fast-paced, why-is-someone-hell-bent-on-killing-me story packed with intensity and swoons!

Poor Julie can’t catch a break. It’s bad enough that Julie’s marriage hit a downward spiral, but when this attack notifies the assistant district attorney, we soon discover a pending investigation from Nashville is going to reach the small town of Destiny. And here she thought she’d get away from the past; trouble seemingly follows Julie. Will Chris’s theories condemn Julie or exonerate her once and for all? Because, seriously: blaming the victim? Definitely an obstacle to hurdle with the emerging attraction.

Piecing together clues is bittersweet work for Chris because he’s good at his job; it’s gratifying to explain intentions. But, it’s the nefarious nature of the crime, of the plot, to harm Julie, that interferes with the lines of professionalism.

“There was zero doubt now that more than one person was after her, trying to kill her. Whatever was going on was bigger than a soon to be ex-husband wanting to settle the score.”

Revealing privileged information while protecting the victim is delicate business. Chris’s growing feelings for Julie keep him ever vigilant and committed to nabbing the culprit, but maintaining that balance will win you over for sure! Chris is fiercely loyal and determined to make Julie feel safe again. Let me take a moment to pause in deference to Chris’s fellow SWAT officers. Lena Diaz developed camaraderie and unflinching support within each character. Yeeessss…here’s hoping Max’s story is up next!

I loved this book. You never know what you’re made of until your mettle is challenged and I saw wonderful growth and courage in Chris and Julie. They faced tremendous odds in fearsome situations, but they never undermined each other or succumbed to the evil dogging their steps. I did feel as if the end was fast approaching without resolution and I wondered if we’d be straining toward another chapter in the unfolding disaster. I was more than thrilled with its ultimate conclusion, but wished some of the aftermath hadn’t wrapped up so curiously. I’m betting Intrigue’s page count didn’t allow for full exploration. Trust me that Ms. Diaz doesn’t skimp on the feels!

Destiny might be a small town, but its effect on Chris and Julie is transformative. Another fabulous read by Lena Diaz to be sure!

Reviewed by Carmen

Copy supplied for review

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His Lordship’s Wild Highland Bride by Kathleen Bittner Roth – a Review

His Lordship’s Wild Highland Bride by Kathleen Bittner Roth – a Review

 

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Description:
A match made for mayhem.

“I’ve no intention of mating with this poor excuse of a man,” Lainie MacGregor declares after reciting her wedding vows. But it’s too late. Far from her beloved Highlands, her fate is sealed.

Ridley Malvern, Lord Caulfield, desperate for her dowry, agrees to marry a wealthy Scot’s daughter sight unseen. He is unaware his tantalizing bride is running from the law. Despite their sizzling attraction, all Lainie desires is to return to her clan. Attempting to make things right, Caulfield takes his wife back to the Highlands only to discover why her father sought the marriage—Lainie is wanted for murder. For her safekeeping, they must remain in England. Now Ridley needs to win her affections and prove that a wild Highland lass and an English lord, can find a love match, after all.

 

 

Review:

“I bloody well hate leaving ye here, lass, but ’tis a far better thing I do than taking ye back to Scotland. I’d only be seeing ye hang fer murder.”

Grounds for an annulment, you think? We learn early on that Lord Caulfield’s bride, Lainie, is wanted for murder in Scotland.

Author, Kathleen Bittner Roth, parses out tantalizing deflections to keep the reader in suspense and, some time, I presume, to make the groom fall so head over heels in love with the lass, he’d couldn’t imagine living without her. His Lordship’s Wild Highland Bride was an absolute delight!

It’s what Ridley deserves, we suppose. To cure his economic hardship, he agrees to a blind betrothal…attached to a generous dowry. That Lainie turns out to be a hellion, a “shrew” who prefers the company of her four walls or to be in self-appointed isolation rather than suffer Ridley’s presence is the mess, and mockery, he’s made of marriage. Just wait until she challenges him at every turn.

The story develops into a give and take between partners, and it was so lovely. Lainie and Ridley cannot fathom any commonalities between them, an English and a Scot are innately contentious, but our H/H are spark and fire blazing. In this unconventional, but true, courtship, a bond emerges from reading. Ridley reads to Lainie by firelight and it’s endearing as well as meaningful. That he reads her own countryman’s words is no coincidence — there are exterior forces, fantastic secondary characters, stoking the fire; hoping love will find its way into their hearts.

Before you know it, Lainie and Ridley deepen their relationship. They’re trying to make a real go of their marriage, but such intense, sudden feelings rarely go unchecked. Ms. Bittner Roth touches on all the intimacy and intricacy of love. Aside from Lainie’s murder accusation (who could ever forget that?!) and demons plaguing Ridley, the simple, but perilous trips of the heart can render one mad. I enjoyed the second-guessing and consideration of falling in love too quickly. A usual consequence due to poor eavesdropping, lol. The assumptions can be soul-wrenching…or life-affirming. You’ll want to experience the highs and lows of Lainie and Ridley.

To my surprise, His Lordship’s Wild Highland Bride is book 3 of a series called Those Magnificent Malverns. To my utter delight, I get to read the first two and be ready in time for book 4. Hamish is too enticing to stay in the background! I’m ready when you are.

Reviewed by Carmen

Copy provided by Publisher

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The Pacifist by Jenny Holiday – a Review

The Pacifist by Jenny Holiday – a Review

 

The PacifistAmazon / Barnes & Noble / Kobo

Description:
She’s done holding her peace…

Laraline Reynolds has spent her entire life as a certified Good Girl. The perpetual peacemaker in her volatile, conservative family, Laraline promises herself that she’ll spend her last year of grad school getting in touch with her inner rebel before she settles down and marries her family-approved long-distance boyfriend. But Laraline’s Year of Fun quickly turns into something more complicated, and she finds herself at the forefront of a movement to change her college’s sexual assault policy.

It’s the Year of No Fun for Tony Bianchi. A fifth-year senior, he needs to graduate, so he’s put a moratorium on his two favorite distractions: girls and photography. But when Laraline comes calling, needing some photos for her cause–and for her campaign for a seat on the college board of governors–Tony’s resistance comes crashing down.

They both fall hard. But while Tony is ready to give it everything he’s got, Laraline is afraid. She wasn’t prepared for her one-year rebellion to lead her to the life she truly wants. In order to break free from her family, she’ll need to do the scariest thing of all–follow her heart.

 

Review:

I love the juxtaposition of two college students on very different paths.  Laraline’s “Summer of Fun” is brought to ruination by Tony’s “Summer of No Fun”.  The irony escapes the stymied Laraline, but it sparks conflict that creates dialogue, that flies in the face of expectations, grating Laraline relief from her gilded cage.  This sounds so awesome, tell you, tell you now what I’m reading?!  It’s obviously Jenny Holiday and her fabulous New Wave Newsroom series!  The Pacifist is book 3 out of three, and I couldn’t be more distressed.  🙁  I adore this series and insist that you start it right away.  The writing, it’s engaging and interesting.  Her characters, arresting and delicious.  All three books are available, time to feast!

Tony is on self-imposed sabbatical from fun if he’s to finally graduate after 5 years (slacker, I was on the 6 year plan, lol!)  Being productive and proactive in academia is not as gruesome as Tony imagined, but banning girls does create a different kind of strain.  No one’s gotten to Tony quite like Laraline.  When Tony gets to know Laraline, when she unravels her past and present before him, his resolve weakens.  Tony is hypnotized by Laraline’s approach to life, but she’s tangled up in appearances befitting that of a harmonious family and she’s strangled by a modern-day “arranged marriage” that is too near for her (and Tony’s) comfort.  What fuels Laraline is rallying and lobbying for women’s rights on the Allenhurst campus, but that’s met with friction and displeasure.  Capricious and chaotic though Laraline may be, Tony is smitten and all too willing to rid Laraline of the anchors dragging her down.

Laraline and Tony weren’t looking to change, not in any profound way at any rate, but the ease of their friendship, the unconditional support offered…those things add up, mean something…become everything.

“What was it about this guy?  It was like we were mirroring each other, like we didn’t need words to be tuned into what was happening.”

Ms. Holiday makes you root and swoon for this couple.  She’s done this consistently for every book in the series.  I mentioned this was totally worth reading?!

The Pacifist introduces you to characters that have an immediate, lingering effect.  In just a few pages, Laraline and Tony (Art/Dawn, Jenny/Matthew) get in your head and you don’t want to stop reading; you certainly can’t stop thinking about them.  There’s a quality of light, but I don’t mean that in terms of substance.  It comes with spirit and joy, just like a…Holiday.  😉  A fitting finale for a fabulous series.  Siouxsie Sioux, The Cure, Tab soda, the holes of a rotary phone…you nailed the 80’s.  Don’t go too far, Ms. Holiday — we fans clamor for your return!

Reviewed by Carmen

Copy supplied for review

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Sweetly, Deeply, Absolutely by Kira Archer – a Review

Sweetly, Deeply, Absolutely by Kira Archer – a Review

 

Sweetly, Deeply, AbsolutelyAmazon / Barnes & Noble / Kobo / BAM

Description:
Hello, Mr. Right…for Now.

With a month off from culinary school, Jenny Boyd has some serious party plans. Especially when the hottest guy in the club literally lands in her lap. He’s 6’2” of cocky, sexy, man-candy, and just as commitment-phobic as she is.

She’s definitely off limits…

Graphic designer Jared Crew is shocked when his best friend’s sister-in-law doesn’t remember him right away. Luckily, she is more than willing to let him jog her memory, no complications required.

It’s all fun and games…until the condom breaks.

 

Review:

Remember my review of Totally, Sweetly, Irrevocably by Kira Archer (Sweet Love series book 2, available here), when Gina caught her ex in a rather indelicate position?  Caught in the compromising position was Jenny, who happens to be the new featured lead (and Rick’s younger sister).  Not the squeakiest clean of introductions, bit it’s Jenny’s spunk and joie de vivre that will win you over.  Sweetly, Deeply, Absolutely is the finale of the series…and it’s the way we deserved to be loved!

Then there’s Jared.  We met him early on as Eric’s BFF in Truly, Madly, Sweetly (book 1, also available HERE) and have been trying to drag him to the forefront for full inspection.  We might have suspected an attraction brewing between Jared and Gina, but it was merely his flirtatious heart at work.  The notorious ladies man is headed for love and he’s quite committed, albeit perplexed, to getting it right.  Gotta love this guy!

Jenny and Jared are helping out at Street Treats Bakery while the couples from books 1 and 2 are on a second honeymoon and the other is on water-breaking-first-baby-arriving-mode.  Close for comfort is not nearly close enough for these two, but try they will, try they must, if they’re to keep the attraction no more serious than a fling.

“Even though each kiss was breaking down her admittedly thin defenses.  The more time she spent with him-or plastered up against him, she should say-the less she cared about whatever awkwardness would ensue if they went further than a few kisses.  Maybe it wouldn’t be so bad.  Jared didn’t seem to want monogamy any more than she did.  He might be the one guy in town she could actually hook up with and not worry about it getting complicated.”

Jared and Jenny are not shy about their conquests; they are confident, they go after what they want, namely each other, and they’re both staunch members of the “monogamy sucks” club.  Their banter was suggestive and saturated with innuendos, but it was just too much for this reader.  Enough flirting — get on with it and stop behaving so juvenile!  Once they succumbed to temptation, shi# got real:  After a rigorous “go”, the condom breaks…along with their ill-conceived plan of keeping things casual.  Who knew “oops” were the greatest gifts?!

“He’d known, obviously, that their broken condom could lead to a baby.  That’s why they’d been worried for a week.  But actually holding a living, breathing child in his arms suddenly made the possibility a lot more real.  And terrifying.  And…  He looked up at Jenny.  Maybe wonderful.”

I’m so happy Kira Archer gave backbones of steel to Jared and Jenny.  While they made light of everything leading up to the life-altering moment, she enlightened them; gave them pause to examine their lives…and reexamine them some more.  Funny how they believed themselves to be mature and prepared for anything life threw their way.  Life lessons come at every age to offer fresh perspective.  Jenny and Jared hope to achieve a mutually beneficial arrangement when they face the unexpected.

A sweet ending to a tasty series.  Ms. Archer reunites all of the central characters to full delight.  These friends are forever linked to enhance each others’ lives and it was so much fun to be a part of their special moments.

Reviewed by Carmen

Copy provided by Publisher

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The Gossip by Jenny Holiday – a Review

The Gossip by Jenny Holiday – a Review

 

The GossipAmazon / Barnes & Noble / Kobo

Description:
Dawn Hathaway is a realist. She’s not the smartest girl at Allenhurst College. She’s not the prettiest, either. So if she wants to be popular, she’ll need something else: power. What better way to get it than to start a gossip column in the campus newspaper? If she has to commit a few minor crimes in pursuit of the latest scoop, what’s the harm?

Arturo Perez loves being a campus cop. He knows Allenhurst’s nooks and crannies—and lately he’s been finding the campus gossip snooping into every one of them. He can’t deny that he enjoys bantering with the sassy schemer. But he also can’t shake the sense that there’s more going on with Dawn than meets the eye.

When tragedy strikes and Dawn needs help, how far will Arturo go to protect her?

 

Review:

Dawn wants to be seen, to be heard, so she starts writing a gossip column for Allenhurst’s college newspaper.  What she achieves is much more purposeful:  To be relevant.  Coming off of an awesome introduction (The Fixer review available here), I couldn’t wait to absorb all The Gossip, ;), aka book 2 of Jenny Holiday‘s wonderful New Wave Classroom series!  This is another short, but deliciously full story about time and patience making love even more profound.  Jenny Holiday knows how to capture the essence of the 80’s and continues to inspire us with her meaningful love stories.

Officer Art is not unhappy at his job as campus police, but his family, those of the “real” variety via Boston PD, can’t seem to fathom why he won’t move up into the “big league”.  Art makes a difference for college students living it up, living independent of their parents’ roofs. 

“Their lives were nothing like my own had been…It was my job to to care about them.  Which sometimes meant saving them from themselves.”

Dawn is one such student, a prime example of freedom unchecked.  Art maintains professional distance, but he is also there at pivotal times to soothe Dawn while she explores and ventures too close to the edge, securing “social power”.  Popularity has its perks, but Dawn was looking for more, the kind of more that only someone who truly cares would notice.   
 
“I’d gotten into this mindset where I needed to make sure she was okay.  She always was, of course.  But I had to check.  I always had to check.  Because something told me that she wasn’t actually okay, not really…I wasn’t sure why I was so compelled to look out for her, except it seemed like maybe no one else was.  She was at the center of everything, but she was also alone.”

Jenny Holiday gives us a bird’s eye view of college life, the joyous and perilous consequences of decision making when no one is around to hold your hand.  Art and Dawn influence each other’s choices and breathe life into a friendship that forgives and empowers bold choices.  I couldn’t get enough of this couple!  The ability to balance witty banter with sparring bouts grew the attraction, making themselves too irresistible to, well, resist!  You’re going to love Art and Dawn individually and root for them romantically.

Another lovely read to lift your spirits and remind you of a more carefree time.  Of coming into your own skin after trying on so many others.  The Pacifist is undoubtedly destined to conclude the series in fabulous fashion.  Book covers are to die for!  Well done, Ms. Holiday…you rock!

Reviewed by Carmen

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