She’s the One
by Kay Stockham
(Harl. Super Rom. #1621, $5.50 PG) ISBN 978-0373-71621-0
***
Kay Stockham has written an ending to her Tulane’s series filled with vivid images of the wilderness that is Alaska and included a romance that happens quickly but is believable. Despite some emotional issues, I liked both characters and the secondary cast just adds to the fun in She’s the One.

Dylan Bower used to write novels - good ones - filled with suspense and even murder.  He is living in Alaska with his father, who runs a lodge for hunters and fishermen. It is rustic, but it pays the bills. Dylan has scars that are both internal and external. Several years ago, his wife died in a fire and his three-year-old son almost died with her. Dylan was able to save Colt, who is now five, but he was actually accused of murder in his wife’s death. Even though he was cleared, he still remembers the scandal and the feeling of helplessness when people pointed, stared and even said things. He also remembers the fear that both he and Colt felt when they almost lost each other. Dylan has burn scars on his arms and hands. Colt has not spoken in two years.

Alexandra Tulane is the youngest of the Tulane siblings. She is a writer who travels around and reviews resorts and vacation spots for Traveling Single magazine.  She does so covertly, so when she books with the Deadwood Mountain Lodge, no one knows what her purpose is.  Terrified of small planes, she makes a less than ceremonious start when she vomits as soon as they arrive. But from there, it gets much better. Alex is awestruck by Alaska, yet is amazed at the remoteness and the lack of amenities. No Internet puts a strike against the lodge and no power after 10 pm also pushes the rating down a bit. But Zeke, Dylan’s father, is a strong host and great cook.  Alex loves that she can catch her fish in the afternoon and eat it for supper. 

Alex and Dylan form a tenuous bond, partly due to some sexual attraction and partly due to kindred spirits. Dylan craves the enthusiastic and unfettered emotional responses he sees in Alex and she is drawn to Dylan’s caring, cautious nature.  hey are opposites and the attraction is definitely there. Colt plays the role of the emotional catalyst and he was my least favorite character. He obviously has some emotional issues and yet his situation is treated as something he will just grow out of…I had a hard time buying that.  And a hard time buying that someone who was only in his life for a few short weeks would have had the impact Alex did over his loving father who he needed and relied on.

One factor that did work well was the way the author made each character confront their own demons before they could solve the other persons.  This made their HEA seem more realistic.  It also cemented the sense that they belonged together despite the little amount of time they actually spent together.

Overall, She’s the One is a good story with a wonderful setting and two people who enjoy their romance.  The benefits outweighed the negatives and made it a story that I found quite acceptable. 

--Shirley Lyons


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