Bride of the Mist

Christmas Knight

The Perfect Gift

Key to Forever

Season of Wishes

2000 Kisses by Christina Skye
(Dell, $6.99, R) ISBN 0-440-23571-5
Christina Skye is an author I've long admired, but I can't say that 2000 Kisses is one of her better efforts. Other than its Y2K concept, 2000 Kisses is standard fare without much flair.

City girl Tess O'Mara knows how to market a product and plan a terrific New Year's Eve party. But when she finds the new millennium has put an extra million dollars in her bank account, she's not sure what to do with all that money -- well, other than go shopping, that is.

After bingeing on new clothes and a new car, Tess contacts her FBI agent brother about the money. He tells her she could be in real danger from criminals who might be laundering their money through her bank account. He sends Tess to a friend of his, a sheriff in Almost, Arizona.

T.J. McCall is the no nonsense sheriff; he's a sharpshooter and a cowboy. T.J. gave up city life to return to the simple life and a town where everyone looks out for everyone else.

Tess is less than thrilled with the good-looking cowboy sheriff who wants to tell her what to do all the time. However, Tess discovers that despite its lack of amenities, she does like the town of Almost. What she doesn't understand are the spells of deja vu she's had since arriving in Arizona. Tess keeps going into trances, she's remembers another time and another life.

Her past life includes a great love, an Indian warrior from another tribe. A warrior who seems very like the sheriff of Almost. Tess and T.J. get closer but neither believes they have a future because Boston is Tess's world and Almost is T.J's.

There were a few things about 2000 Kisses that didn't quite make sense. First, it's hard to imagine someone experiencing a past-life recollection and just brushing it off the way Tess does. Second, T.J. left his former job because he didn't want to be put in the position of playing God with people's lives, yet that doesn't stop him from becoming a sheriff. And he doesn't object when he's called into hostage situations where his job is to use his marksmanship to take out the bad guy.

For the most part, 2000 Kisses is a tried and true romance: city girl falls for cowboy and problems ensue. Tess and T.J. do have chemistry but the story line drags after the first one hundred pages and the past-life subplot really doesn't provide enough filler to keep things interesting until the bad guys show up.

--Judith Flavell

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