"the rocky road to romance is a delight!"
A delightful, change-of-pace story from Anne Stuart. He is
no madman, a killer, insane, or a dabbler in the Black
Arts, this Stuart hero is an alpha-male, not one of her
dark gamma-rogues who live outside the laws of man. In
fact, he is a man of the law, a policeman from Chicago.
After a long two-year manhunt for a serial killer, Matthew
Connelly wants only to heal from the death of his partner
and the terrible gunshot wound to his hip. Even more, he
wants solitude to heal his troubled soul. He comes to an
isolated island off the coast of Maine, figuring this to be
the perfect place to be alone with himself and face his
The last thing Matthew wants is a romance, especially with
a sassy little redhead who lives just down the beach. The
minute he caught sight of Jeannie MacPherson standing in
his kitchen, he knew she was going to be trouble. She is
not his type.
He likes big, buxom blondes, not a pert little redhead that
won't take the hint he does not want her TLC. In the
following weeks on the island, she keeps invading his
solitude, with baked bread, muffins and the mothering that
he really resents, though at times he really needs. Jeannie
is on retreat as well, but it has stretched to a two-year
long sojourn, but at thirty-one, her biological clock is
ticking. She wants kids to mother, a man to love her, and
she figures after one look, Matthew is not the man for
those dreams. Only, something keeps pulling her back.
Unable to resist him, she has a torrid affair with him,
hoping that it will turn into something more.
Very wealthy, she is co-partners of a national ice cream
franchise, and when she is called away for a week on
business, she tells Matthew she will be back on the island
on the following Thursday. Instead, she rushes home on
Monday to find Matthew sneaking off the island. Jeannie is
devastated that he was not even going to tell her he was
leaving. In a fit, she tossed a lobster trap at him
breaking a couple ribs and his wrist.
Matthew accepts a temporary position as a Police Chief of a
growing resort town in Colorado. He figures it will give
him time to finish healing, and sort out what he wants to
do with his life. Also, give him time to heal from his
brush with Jeannie. He plans on giving it five months, to
see if he can put the nightmare of being a cop behind him,
before seeking out Jeannie again, and seeing if he can
build a relationship with her. Only, Jeannie is not about
to give him time. She comes to town under the guise of
putting in an ice cream factory and proceeds to show Matt
there is no escaping her. Jeannie does everything to get
Matthews attention, even to stealing his police car, daring
him to arrest her.
The story is a bit lighter than some Stuart's typical dark
and deadly tales, with some charming humor tossed in the
mix. Matthew and Jeannie are vivid characters that will
enchant you from beginning to end.
Posted August 20, 2004
Reviewed by Deborah Macgillivray
Posted November 23, 2006