Write Direction, Part V
Kate Monroe crosses paths with FBI agent Jack Hamlin because the business partner in her bake shop, who cleaned out her bank account and disappeared, is also under investigation by Jack for other crimes. And, despite an obvious attraction, Jack has to consider the possibility that Kate is involved in the shady dealings as well. Everyone has secrets--Kate that her business is failing, Jack that he is not just a businessman in town to open a new gallery, and Kate's best friend Prudence that--well, that would be telling. And these secrets lead to twisted conclusions on the part of each of the main characters--a rocky road for romance.
Amy Manneman's characters are interesting and her dialogue is natural and well-written. The small town of Starling comes to life with interesting minor characters and descriptions. The plot heats up more than Kate's kitchen, when more agencies and bad guys are thrown into the mix, and Kate could get burned in more ways than one.
Heartland is the second book in LaBella's Where Life and Love Meet trilogy and begins with Ali and her much younger husband Darien reconsidering their married life. They are very much in love and leading successful businesses in New York City, but have little time for each other. But just as they decide that they are mentally and financially ready for a change, tragedy strikes. This twist takes the story in a totally different direction and setting--a small Iowa town.
A wide variety of characters contribute to the richness of the story and dialogue is very well written. Each character has his or her own plans and dreams--some not so clear cut, and the second half of the book takes us along on the journey to work that all out.