Monday, August 30, 2010

Leigh Duncan debuts with a stormy love story

The Officer's Girl
Publisher: Harlequin American Romance
cover art copyright: Harlequin Enterprises, LTD
review copy purchased via Turn the Page bookstore (online version)

Debut Harlequin American author Leigh Duncan’s debut novel The Officer’s Girl, sees a Ohio native, Stephanie Bryant moving to Cocoa Beach, Florida to accept a position as Space Tech's head of Human Resources. The only problem? The day she moves in a hurricane heads straight for Cocoa Beach, and the whole town is evacuating. All but Stephanie, who has no idea the storm had any chance of coming ashore.

Enter Cocoa Beach policeman Brett Lincoln who, when he tries to explain this to the feisty brunette, can't get a word in edgewise for the first ten minutes. Rightly flabbergasted by what Brett has to tell her, she high-tails through evacuation traffic to Orlando, meets and rides out the storm with some of Brett's best friends. From there, Brett and Stephanie keep running into each other, and it seems fate is definitely at work as the two quickly move from combatants to friends, into a Relationship with one another. But, can they weather each others' foibles? Or will the end up tangled up in Hurricane Arlene's wreckage? You'll have to read to find out.

I had the privilege of attending Ms. Duncan's workshop when she visited a meeting of the Tampa Area Romance Authors back in October of last year, and so I couldn't pass up the chance to purchase The Officer’s Girl when she participated in a group signing with author Roxanne St. Claire and others at Nora Roberts' Turn the Page bookstore. It was well worth the price, in my opinion, as it is an endearing first effort, the minor characters (particular Tom's twin girls) so adorable.

In fact, my favorite line in the whole book comes from them. P. 203. When the toddler Barbara sees Brett cradling a young boy he'd help around a picnic that day, Ms. Duncan wrote this adorable line: "...Barbara scrambled out of her seat and onto Brett's lap, framing his face with her two little hands. "No Unca Brett, No boys." *giggle* Just so adorable! So my rating for this one:

Since Harlequins don't stay on the shelves long a reader might not be able to purchase this one at any local stores (I could be wrong); but if you'd like to try it out, you can definitely find it at the Harlequin website here, or at Amazon, or Books-a-Million, or Barnes and Noble. If you like sweet romances, you will not be disappointed Leigh Duncan's The Officer’s Girl.

(As usual, a slightly different version of this is up over at my Examiner pages. if you wish to give it a click you may do so here. Thanks! :))
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