Joan Johnston, Author . Atria $23 (336p) ISBN 978-0-7434-5432-2

Romance veteran Johnston makes her hardcover debut with another Bitter Creek novel (The Loner, etc.), in which Houston lawyer Luke Creed tracks down unethical businessmen in between joy rides on his Harley and attempts to woo his old high school sweetheart. Is the wonder drug D-Free a lifesaver for young diabetics or a dangerous cash cow for Hyland Pharmaceuticals? The mother of a child who died while using D-Free is suing Hyland, and Luke is part of the company's defense team. But he has an even greater stake in the case: one of his two daughters, eight-year-old Brynne, is diabetic and takes D-Free. To complicate matters further, his love interest, Amy, is representing the plaintiff. The hale Texan (who has a ranch and still calls his women "baby") is not afraid to face corporate bullies, even when they include his workaholic female boss. On the romantic front, Luke has his work cut out for him when the lonely yet stubbornly independent Amy rebuffs him. Johnston's characters brim with humanity as they navigate law firm politics and drug approval procedures, child-raising and custody battles. The recycled subplots and soap opera dramatics are predictable, but Luke's position as Hyland's defense attorney adds moral complexity. Readers will find themselves turning the pages, if only for more glimpses of a modern cowboy as captivating in the courtroom as he is on his hog. (Mar.)

Reviewed on: 03/17/2003
Release date: 03/01/2003
Genre: Fiction
Mass Market Paperbound - 408 pages - 978-1-4165-4477-7
Open Ebook - 336 pages - 978-0-7434-8349-0
Compact Disc - 978-0-7435-7136-4
Hardcover - 528 pages - 978-0-7862-5618-1
Downloadable Audio - 978-0-7435-4827-4
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-0-7435-2952-5
Compact Disc - 978-0-7435-2953-2
Downloadable Audio - 978-1-4423-4326-9
Downloadable Audio - 978-1-4498-8542-7
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