cover image Beautiful Lawman

Beautiful Lawman

Sophie Jordan. Avon, $7.99 mass market (384p) ISBN 978-0-06-266656-7

Jordan’s thoroughly enjoyable fourth Devil’s Rock contemporary (after All Chained Up) brings family drama to the tiny town of Sweet Hill, Tex. Tenacious Piper’s parents were famously terrible, so she doesn’t expect the last name Walsh to get her anything in Sweet Hill but bad looks, false rumors, and a whole lot of trouble. Steely Sheriff Hale Walters is familiar with the Walsh family, but he doesn’t let that—or the ice water Piper dumps in his lap—cloud his judgment regarding the young woman. Once he realizes his initial impression of her was wrong and his attraction to Piper intensifies, he reluctantly invokes his rule against dating women in his jurisdiction. Despite Piper’s protests, he continues to find ways to assist her and her younger sister (of whom Piper is the legal guardian), and the constant interactions make it difficult for him and Piper to stay on opposite sides of the line they’ve drawn. Heat-loving readers will enjoy Hale’s naughty, sexy side; he’s a welcome reprieve from the usual tightly wound and inhibited sheriff character. Piper’s dedication to her family balances out her rough edges. A twist here and turn there make this heady tale very fulfilling. Agent: Maura E. Kye-Casella, Don Congdon Associates. (Jan.)