Duets 23

The Driven Snowe by Cathy Yardley
(Harlequin Blaze #14, $4.50, PG) ISBN 0-373-79018-X
How does a shy, virginal woman go about changing her life, especially if she want to make drastic changes? Librarian Angela Snowe receives a scare that literally turns her life around. With a family history of breast cancer, her doctor finds a lump, and there's a few days delay before Angela will know if the lump is malignant. Now she must contend with the overriding fear that she doesn't want to die, before she's even had a chance to live.

The first biggie on her mental list is that she doesn't want to die a virgin, and in order to change that, she approaches Josh Montgomery with her oddball request. He's taken aback and decides to accept Angela's offer. He has an evening of mind-blowing sexual excitement, but awakes to an empty bed and empty apartment. This unusual turn of events spurs his interest in finding the lovely Angela, and fortuitously he heads for the local library and accidentally find her there. Guess this gives new meaning to a library publicity campaign that promises, "Find it at your local library."

When Angela receives good news from her doctor, she decides to savor everything she's never had the courage to do. She tries different continuing ed classes, from yoga to stained glass to Chinese cooking and also begins to socialize with her coworkers. She finds herself in an unprecedented situation: now that there's a wonderful man who's interested in her, she doesn't want a relationship to cut into her free time, a life that's suddenly filled with new and exciting activities.

Josh is enthralled with Angela, this lively, vibrant woman who's so different from the woman he usually dates. He's close to letting her become an obsession. While he's used to being pursued, he's unsure of how to pursue this woman. Add to that mixture Angela's uncertainty if she wants a relationship and how to handle this superb man who's almost too good to be believed.

Part of the draw for me of this well-crafted story is that I felt occasionally a bit of pity for these two who really didn't know how to cultivate a lasting, meaningful relationship. Seeing their slips and slides caused me to experience an occasional emotional grimace. A well-written book such as this reminds me that love can be rocky, uncertain and oh, so fulfilling

Driven Snowe is the second book by Cathy Yardley that it's been my good fortune to read. She writes with a clean prose and well-chosen adjectives. And what she can do with sensual scenes is something that you want to read for yourself. She's one of the new group of promising writers who can easily slip into auto-buy status

. Driven Snowe is a fun, intricate tale and a solid romance that makes an entertaining read. Both are two very likable people. When the two come together, they make for a fun loving, sensual couple. This story is a welcome addition to the Blaze line.

--Linda Mowery

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