A Reason to Love

Marcia King-Gamble, Author
Marcia King-Gamble, Author Arabesque $5.99 (288p) ISBN 978-1-58314-133-5
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Following the recent and highly publicized death of a patient, San Francisco pediatrician Niki Hamilton decides to accept an offer from her old college roommate, Kim, to spend a few weeks relaxing on the Jersey Shore. The stress of a lawsuit, hate mail and threatening calls have taken their toll on the 42-year-old doctor, and a vacation is long overdue. The reunion is cut short, however, when a family emergency arises for Kim, leaving prim and priggish Niki to manage her friend's dating service, Coffee Mates, and enroll its newest applicant--handsome, biracial landscape designer and single dad Cary Thomas. Seeing Cary as nothing more than an uneducated gardener and an uncomfortable reminder of her cheating, house-painter ex, Niki eschews his initial advances and treats him with cool reserve. A subplot involving a shady drug dealer named Quaalude and a fellow doctor's conspiracy against Niki further upsets an already rocky courtship and does little to promote a romantic tone or a credible relationship between the characters. Although mixing romance and suspense is second nature to King-Gamble (Illusions of Love; etc.), her fans will feel let down by this narrative's convoluted plot and straitlaced heroine. (Feb.)
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