Her Man in Manhattan
by Trish Wylie
(Harlequin Kiss, $4.99, PG-13 ISBN 978-0373207114)
Her Man in Manhattan was my first Harlequin Kiss book, and I had a smile on my face pretty much the whole way through. I was pleasantly reminded of the first romances I ever read, a treasure trove of mostly category romances from Harlequin and Silhouette. I knew I was going to have a happy ending for my couple, and that reassurance was like coming home.

We meet our heroine, Miranda Kravitz, the same way our hero, Tyler Brannigan, does. She's dancing in a club, having a great time, hiding her bright hair under a wig, but that doesn't keep her from standing out. Miranda is used to attracting attention, but it's because of her family connections, not the person she is inside. And that's a shame, because as Tyler discovers, she's hella likeable. The club is treated to a surprise raid by New York's finest, and Tyler whisks her away to spare her, and her politician father's reputation from the scandal. Along the way, they share a steamy kiss, but he sees her safe into a cab, keeping the secret of her identity to himself.

After a weekend of wishing there had been a little more to that night than one scorching kiss, Miranda gets a shock when she is introduced to her new bodyguard. Hes none other than the man from the club, star of her most recent fantasies. Now, why do you ask, does Miranda need a bodyguard? Well, her father is New York City's mayor, with plans to further his career, and his pretty daughter is popular with the public. She's attracted some attention, and it isn't all that nice.

Tyler is just the guy for the job; he's a cop who's been reassigned due to some issues we don't get enlightened on until later in the story. He finds his attraction to Miranda to be a liability, and she initially feels the same way. She and her brother struck a deal that she would stay and help out her father's career by building rapport and goodwill with the public so her brother could finish college. But her time is running out and Miranda can't wait to live her own life and be free for the first time since she was a teen. She doesn't need a moody cop in her life. But the more time she spends with Tyler, she finds out the man underneath his brusque manner, that he uses to keep the world at arm's length, is someone she really could fall for.

They struggle with their attraction, and their different plans and hopes for the future. For Miranda, the turning point comes when she visits Tyler's big rambunctious Irish family for Sunday lunch. She longs for that closeness, and she can see herself in that picture all too easily. But will Tyler let her be a part of his life? She trusts him with her safety, but can she trust him with her fragile heart?

I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this fun little read. Admittedly, I thought it would be a quick read if nothing else. It was that, but it was also lots of fun. I found the characters to be likeable, realistic people, and while the rich girl/working class guy thing has been done a million times before, Her Man in Manhattan made it seem fresh and new. Though it does work a little better if you don't think too far past the happy-ever-after ending. I'm not sure that Miranda will find living off a cop's paycheck and worrying over his safety to be especially easy, but hopefully their shiny new love will turn into something tried and true.

--Jessica Smith

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