Just In Time
by Addison Fox
(Signet, $7.99, PG) ISBN 978-0451-23973-0
****
A tale of lost opportunity or a tale of renewal...either description could be attributed to this newest Alaskan Nights novel. Not having read the other books in the series did not keep me from embracing the characters or enjoying this taste of small town Alaska. I might even have to go back and read the first two tales.

Roman Forsyth and Avery Marks were childhood friends who grew into childhood sweethearts. And for most of their young lives, they were together. But Roman was an aspiring NHLer and Avery had an alcoholic mother who required her care. Roman got a chance to make it to the big leagues and Avery didn't stop him. But this loss was almost like a breakup and for fourteen years they have been dancing around each other whenever Roman makes it home to Indigo. He doesn't stay long. He does send gifts and items to the town but nothing ever personally to Avery.

Now Roman is back for his best friend's wedding - a friend who was also a part of the "musketeers" - Roman, Avery, Mick and Walker were inseparable through high school. Roman can't avoid Avery and they quickly discover that the romantic or at least sexual sparks are still there and stronger than ever. Yet there is a lot of emotional baggage that they both carry. Roman feels guilty for leaving and not really coming home when Avery's mother died. Avery feels guilty for letting Roman go and not being able to still be his friend...while she is angry about the fact that he never came home for her mother's funeral.

This is a story about pursuing ones' dream and the difficult choices that sometimes have to be made. It is about finding your one and only, even if the timing is not exactly right. And it is about learning to both forgive and build on the foundation. I truly enjoyed this journey. At times it was a little too sentimental and at times, there was some tension that was caused by the internal feelings - not the reality of the situation. But ultimately, this is a story about waiting for each other and discovering how it was best they had a chance to grow up and become the person that the other can love forever. Addison Fox has a nice writing style and finds the appropriate blending to make this work.

Just In Time is a story that is worth reading and Fox is an author that the reader will be smart to enjoy.

--Shirley Lyons


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