Jodi Thomas, . . Berkley, $7.99 (296pp) ISBN 978-0-425-22081-8
Fortune smiles on Allie Daniels and her elderly Nana in the form of an unexpected West Texas inheritance from a mysterious “Uncle Jefferson Platt,” of whom Allie doesn’t recall any talk. Raised by her grandparents, Allie quit college to take care of frail Nana at her grandfather’s death, and, at 26, has held a variety of dead-end jobs. She and Nana are enchanted by the West Texas property on Twisted Creek and have soon reopened its rundown bait shop–cum–general store and cafe to serve the “Nesters,” an eccentric bunch who live lakeside year-round. Half-Navajo undercover ATF agent Luke Morgan is one of them, and he’s intent on catching the killer of Uncle Jefferson, who was his own granddad’s best friend—and to put some drug traffickers out of business in the process. Morgan tries to resist his feelings for Allie, but Thomas sketches a slow, sweet surrender, keeping the tension building to a rewarding resolution in this unsentimental, homespun romance.
Reviewed on: 03/17/2008