cover image Playing for Keeps

Playing for Keeps

LuAnn McLane, Signet Eclipse, $6.99 mass market (304p) ISBN 978-0-451-23276-2

McLane's trademark devilish dialogue is in fine form for this series launch set in a fictional Kentucky town. Recently dumped by his hit soap opera, former Major League baseball player Noah Falcon has returned home for a bit of R&R before braving the wider world again. Olivia Lawson, a schoolmarm with a voice "like Southern Comfort sliding over cracked ice," will never let Noah forget that he snubbed her back when she was Cricket Creek High School's resident bookworm, though he's quick to admire the ways she's blossomed since then. In a narrative long on "no place like home" parables, the erotic frisson that occurs when the former classmates star together in a local play prevents the story from becoming clichéd, and a lavish finale brings the fairy tale romance to a perfect conclusion. (Mar.)