Ballantine Books, April 2004
Reviewed by Barbara Fielding
When a high powered lawyer offers waitress Carly Nolan one million dollars to turn her infant son over to his wealthy grandparents, she takes her child and runs. Christopher's birth was the result of Carly's short affair with a wealthy playboy, Rick Saunders. When Rick returns from a year long business trip to Japan, he comes to see Carly and discovers they have a child. He immediately proposes marriage, but is tragically killed in an accident before the marriage can be arranged. The Saunders don't believe someone like Carly, a young woman raised in foster homes and who supports herself by waiting tables, is a fit parent for their grandchild.
Now six years later, Jake Montgomery, a private investigator and Rick's closest friend, locates Carly living in a coastal village, Twilight Cove. Jake isn't certain why Carly ran away, so before he exposes her whereabouts to the Saunders he takes time to uncover more information about her. Posing as a summer visitor he rents a rundown cottage and invites the lovely waitress out on a date. Jake discovers Carly is a great mom, and there is much more to her than the ugly facts in her investigative file. He also finds himself falling in love. Jake soon realizes he must tell Carly the truth about why he came to Twilight Cove and hopefully help her straighten out matters between her and the Saunders, but will Carly accept him once she knows the truth?
LOVER'S LANE is Jill Marie Landis' first contemporary novel. Long known for her historical romance novels, Ms. Landis has crafted an engaging family drama. Carly is a sympathetic character whose fears and struggles are movingly portrayed. Raised in tragic circumstances, she builds her world around her son. Jake is the first person she allows into their world, but he comes with a secret that could tear their lives apart. There is no easy way for Jake to untangle the situation he finds himself in. Ms. Landis has given readers a believable, emotional story that slowly unwinds. This is a perfect summer vacation read.
LOVER'S LANE is the first novel in a new Twilight Cove trilogy. Jake Montgomery's private investigative firm is based in San Luis Obispo, and his lively business partner, Kat Vargas, is the focus of HEAT WAVE (May 2004).
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