by Karen Hawkins
Readers Choice A-L
rated 4 stars
Do Blondes have more fun? Newly divorced Roxie Tremayne is dying to find out. After years of being the perfect southern lady, all she ended up with was a cheating husband. So she goes bombshell blond, gets a provocatively placed tatoo and prepared to live it up as a Bad Girl. But then her mother falls ill....and Roxie is forced to return to Glory, North Carolina.
He'd love to know. Once the town Bad Boy, Nick Sheppard is now Glory's highly respected sheriff. When the hot blond he stops for speeding turns out to be formerly prim Homecoming Queen Roxanne Tremayne, Nick doesn't know quite where to look--though he'd like a much closer one at that tattoo peeking from her shorts.
But it takes two to tango. Roxie and Nick had a steamy fling in high school, but a love affair between a Southern Princess and a Boy from the wrong side of the tracks was doomed from the start. Now they have a second chance. Can they get it right? Or will they just end up....The Talk of The Town?
So the Good Girl/Bad Boy plot device has been done, and done often. It could have been sooo cliche and predictable. However, Karen Hawkins puts a refreshing spin on it. Roxie finalizes her divorce and does what every "comfortable" red blooded American woman would do. She dyes her hair blonde, gets a belly-button ring, and a tattoo. (Admit it, you would too! I would! Except I think, I'd go fire engine Red, and skip the piercing. If you saw my belly button.....) Aaanyway! So then she gets word from her brother Mark, (who divorced last year and didn't tell his mother either) that Dear Ole Mom has had a heart attack and needs help at home. So he suggests that Roxie go back home to take care of mom, and Roxie won't go without back-up so Mark is along for the ride, and they enlist the help of Tundy, (Roxie's housekeeper). Love Tundy! (as they near home, Mark refers to mom and Mom-en-stein, which Tundy interprets to mean that Mom is Jewish....so she leaves the pork rinds in the car and starts cooking kosher. As it happens Mom-en-Stein is not jewish and is somewhat curious as to why Tundy keeps her Kosher....)
Roxie gets pulled over entering town for speeding, and lo and behold Bad-boy Nick Sheppard is now the Sheriff. She gets a warning, mmmm-hmmmmm! Roxie inherits her mothers volunteering responsibility of the Murder Myster Club at the local Retirement Home. Among the members of the MMC is Nick's great Aunt. Coincidence? One of the Retirement community inhabitants recently passed at an accident at the Piggly Wiggly. Accept the MMC after finding a box full of blackmail notes, they decide that it was not an accident but a Murder!! (murder said slowly very reminiscent of the old mystery movies....)
Nick and Roxie are instantly attracted to each other, and Roxie is feeling a little wild and recklessbut Nick wants to be good and responsible. So he wants nothing of the Wild Child. But boy is the chemistry explosive. He can't seem to stay away. So his trying to be good, and her trying to be Bad, lends itself to some misunderstandings and hurt feelings. Also some fun moments between Nick and his assistant/dispatcher/all around girl friday. She's spunky and tells him where to go when he needs it. Yea! There is a mystery to solve and feelings to discover, and a history to work through. Add in a supporting cast, of chubby Housekeeper, 3 drunk Senior Citizens, and an overweight beagle and you've got a fun book.
I recommend this to you if you like a little fun and a good chuckle with your romance.