cover image River Road

River Road

JoAnn Ross. Pocket Books, $7.5 (400pp) ISBN 978-0-7434-3683-0

A sparkling combination of Southern charm and sexy pyrotechnics, the second book in JoAnn Ross's Callahan Brothers trilogy (following Blue Bayou) jazzes up a familiar formula. Having spent the last few years chasing down a serial killer, FBI agent Finn Callahan is less than thrilled when he's forced to take a leave of absence, but his return to his hometown of Blue Bayou, La., couldn't have been more timely. The cast of River Road, a popular prime-time soap, has descended upon the town and begun filming at a nearby mansion, and the show's gorgeous star, Julia Summers, is in need of a bodyguard. The romance between the by-the-book agent and strong-willed actress crackles, and their verbal sparring keeps the narrative moving at an energetic clip. Readers who have read the first book in this trilogy will be heartily entertained; those who haven't will rush out to buy it after savoring this delightful entry.