cover image Where There's Smoke

Where There's Smoke

Sandra Brown. Grand Central Publishing, $32 (417pp) ISBN 978-0-446-51655-6

Readers who miss TV's Dallas will love the latest fast-paced romance from the author of the bestselling Mirror Image and French Silk. The Tackett oil clan of Eden Pass in East Texas, dominated by hard-driving widow Jody, managed to weather the sex-scandal disgrace of eldest son, Clark, a congressman, five years ago, and his recent death by drowning. Now Dr. Lara Mallory, the woman involved in Clark's downfall, moves into town to take over the retiring doctor's practice, which Clark bought before his death and willed to her. Lara was widowed after her diplomat husband and young daughter were killed in the Third World country to which they'd been posted in the scandal's wake. She is willing to endure the hatred of the influential Tacketts in order to meet Clark's black-sheep brother Key, whose skill as a pilot she requires in order to return to the country where her daughter's body still lies. Virile Key and gorgeous Lara butt egos while Key's plain sister Janellen finds love with an ex-con, and a cheerleader, daughter of the town slut, seeks romance with a handsome football player. Brown never lets up on melodramatic tension, twisting her plot and subplots until the unsuspected truth about Clark's scandal and death is revealed. 250,00 first printing; Literary Guild and Doubleday Book Club selections. (May)