Thursday, December 26, 2013

Just Like Heaven-Lacey Baker

Just Like Heaven Lacey Baker St. Martin’s, Nov 27 2013, $7.99 ISBN: 9781250019233 The death of their beloved grandmother shook her six grandchildren. While one of them never left Sweetland, Maryland, the other five come from different parts of the country to attend her funeral and adhere to her wishes, which left each of them an equal share in her B&B and with a dog to care for (see Homecoming). Prosecutor Preston Cantrell places a local ad for someone to adopt his Labrador puppy Coco so he can return to Baltimore. Heaven Montgomery arrives wanting the pup. After interrogating her, Preston takes her to meet Coco only she and the Lab fall into a pond. Preston delays his return to Baltimore to get to know Heaven better. She in turn thinks he is arrogant. Still the research chemist needs Coco as part of her recovery from a lab explosion that left two of associates dead and her suffering from PTSD. As Preston and Heaven fall in love with each other and with Coco, an adversary kidnaps the scientist and her canine. The second Sweetland romance is an engaging contemporary starring two likable protagonists and a precocious dog who at times steals the show from the adults. The suspense subplot comes across as undeveloped while the relationships between the lead pair and respectively with their canine fun to follow though unlikely either would place their careers on hold for a stranger even factoring in that Heaven remains emotionally troubled. Harriet Klausner

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