Sunday, May 15, 2011

Blackberry Summer-RaeAnne Thayne

Blackberry Summer
RaeAnne Thayne
Harlequin HQN, May 24 2011, $7.99
ISBN: 9780373775934

In Hope's Crossing, Colorado, single mom of two kids (Macy and Owen), a dog (Chester) and a pain in the butt mom (Ruth), Claire Bradford owns struggling String Fever beads shop. She loves her town with the only blight being her ex Jeff with his new wife Holly. Someone broke in to her shop in a robbery and also vandalized it by knocking the beads all over the floor and destroying the daughter of the mayor’s customized wedding dress. The police dispatcher Donna tells her she is the fourth victim.

New Police Chief Riley McKnight arrives at Claire’s shop. When he was in high school he had a crush on her that has continued with years of Claire fantasies, but she was and still is BFF to one of his older sisters; besides which back then he was a troubled teen after his dad walked out. He still wants her, but knows he better ignore his desire. All the robberies were shops protected by TopFlight Security, but the system failed. Claire is hurt in an accident while the anonymous enigmatic "Angel of Hope" inspires people to be all they can be. Still this benefactor and love may not be enough for Riley and Claire.

This is an engaging police procedural romance due to the super strong townsfolk; as the key support cast contains diverse personalities, but behave like a town in financial difficulty. The whodunit takes a backseat to the romance with Riley and Claire knowing the zillions con reasons to not become involved and the one pro reason arguing for involvement.

Harriet Klausner

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