cover image One Way or Another

One Way or Another

Rhonda Bowen. Dafina/Kensington, $14 trade paperback (320p) ISBN 978-0-7582-5958-5

Less a traditional romance novel and more a story of faith and redemption, Bowen’s sophomore outing (Man Enough for Me) enchants from the first page. Toni Shields, a reporter for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, meets Adam Bayne, who runs a halfway house for troubled teen boys, when she ends up in jail after going too far in pursuit of a story. Adam, at the jail to pick up one of his wayward charges, falls for the feisty reporter. Bowen weaves bits of romance throughout the narrative, but the overriding theme throughout is learning to overcome a troubled past. Toni is haunted by the murder of her parents—which very nearly ended in her death, as well—and Adam by the guilt of his law-breaking past that he hasn’t revealed to the boys in his care. Together, these two troubled souls find comfort, and love, in each other. Well-developed secondary characters, particularly Toni’s brother, Trey, and his wife, Jasmine, add heft to the story. Executed in a believable and page-turning way, the story will have readers hoping hard for a happily-ever-after for this pair. In the end, their love is shown less in words than in concrete actions, making it all the sweeter. (Mar.)