Cabin Fever

Father to Be

First Kiss

Getting Lucky

Heaven on Earth

The Horseman's Bride

More Than a Hero

Murphy's Law

Older, Wiser...Pregnant

The Princess & the Mercenary

Rogue's Reform

The Sheriff's Surrender

Some Enchanted Season

Somebody's Hero

 
One Stormy Night
by Marilyn Pappano
(SRS #1471, $4.99, PG) ISBN 0-373-27451-0
***
The prologue catches Jennifer Burton in the midst of a hurricane warning while searching her estranged husband's study for incriminating evidence. She finds a DVD of a brutal rape of a woman who had been recently murdered. The rape occurred in the police station with Jenniferís police chief husband in attendance.

Jennifer runs when she hears her husband and one of his officers come into the house. Her husband catches her near a stream edge and lands a few blows upon her as she is washed away. She is not found, but her washed out car is found near a swollen creek crossing a mile from their house.

The story opens as Jennifer's identical twin, "the older and stronger one," Jessica, is in Belmar, Mississippi, on a search for the evidence that will convict Chief Taylor Burton of corruption. Jessica is impersonating Jennifer, pretending amnesia.

An immediate run-in with Taylor acquaints him with the fact that Jennifer finally has a backbone. Seeking to find what she had discovered, he uses the police department resources and puts a round the clock tail on her.

One such lucky officer chosen for this duty is new employee Mitch Lassiter. Mitch had grown up in Belmar, had been a friend of Taylor's and came home after a career with the Atlanta Police Department.

Jessica trusts no one, especially any employee of Taylor's, as she starts her search for the evidence. Conversations with her sister keep her on track, always warning her off her attraction to Mitch.

Sexual tension and plot tensions escalate as Jessica systematically eliminates all her leads. Mitch, being an illegitimate child has real issues with marriage infidelity, as he fights his attraction to the supposed Jennifer. He comes through for her when she catches him lying to his boss to protect her. This is the predictable turning point in their relationship and the story pretty much plays out, as the reader would expect from here.

The ending has a twist, but other than this unexpected bit, the story has a very standard well-used plot line, with very standard characters. However, Pappanno takes advantage of her setting to fete southern small living with very valid insights into the way things work.

All of these factors make this an easy read, but not necessarily an unforgettable one.

--Thea Davis


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