Across the Rainbow

A Cry at Midnight

The Bachelor Project
by Victoria Chancellor
(Harl. American #844, $4.25, PG-13) ISBN 0-373-16844-6
Victoria Chancellor's The Bachelor Project has two people who have every reason not to connect with each other. She creates a story of slowly building sensual tension that pulls you into the lives of a socialite interior designer and a small town police chief.

Robin Cummings is in Ranger Springs to get away from a lot of people. Three weeks before her wedding to Gig, she called it off. The only person who understands is her Great-Aunt Sylvia who recommends that Robin get away from Houston for a while. Sylvia has a friend who lives in Ranger Springs, several hours drive from Houston, who can help Robin get settled as a house sitter for a couple of months.

As a big city girl, Robin knows nothing about small town living. On her first night in the house on a rural road, she hears strange noises outside. She calls the police. Ethan Parker, the chief of police ,discovers two things when he arrives: a pair of marauding raccoons and a woman who wakes up his senses.

Ethan is a former FBI agent who has decided that small town life is what he really wants. His Aunt Bess shares his house with him. Ethan would like a wife and children, but he has been left at the altar twice. He's a bit skittish about relationships after these two disasters. When Robin tells him she is in Ranger Springs after canceling her wedding and begins crying, he ends up comforting her.

It looks like the two of them have nothing in common. Robin is from a wealthy family, has lived in a large city all her life, co-owns a design firm, and just jilted her fiancÚ. Ethan had his fill of big cities as an FBI agent and plans to spend the rest of his life in a small town. Robin decides that it is way too soon for her to be attracted to another man, especially when she will only be there for a couple of months, at the most. Each of them plan to be polite with each other but nothing else, despite the strong attraction between them.

Aunt Bess and Great Aunt Sylvia decide to nudge the two of them together. Chancellor portrays the two ladies lovingly. Neither lady really pushes hard; they simply make suggestions, gentle requests, and drop hints that lead to Robin and Ethan spending time together.

The sensual tension is slowly escalated throughout the story, as are the insights each of them has about why they become more and more attracted to each other. Robin and Ethan also grow and come to grips with things about themselves that may have hindered their past relationships.

Chancellor also manages to paint a picture of a pleasant small town with regular people who are both caring of each other as well as nosy. Read The Bachelor Project and enjoy a visit with Robin, Ethan, Aunt Bess, and the rest of the town of Ranger Springs, Texas.

--B. Kathy Leitle

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