has also reviewed:

Into the Night

Private Lies

 
True Blue by Robyn Amos
(Arabesque/BET, $4.99, PG-13) ISBN 1-58314-001-8
****
"True Blue" Cooper was introduced in Robyn Amos' third novel, Into the Night, as the sexy, blue-eyed sidekick of that novel's hero "Jax" Jaxson. The Yoo-Hoo swigging, cartoon-watching Blue was a great counterpart to the oh-so-serious Jax. True Blue is his story.

The novel opens on New Year's Eve as revelers at Blue Paradise, the trendy West Palm Beach nightclub Blue owns, are partying like it's 1999. As the new year rolls in, Blue craves the happiness and stability Jax has found. He resolves to find someone special with whom he can spend his life.

Toni Rivers and her younger sister April recently moved to Florida from Washington, D.C. after winning the lottery. The Rivers sisters are using a portion of their winnings to finance a business venture, Coffee.com, a cybercafé/coffee shop. When Blue meets Toni Rivers he instinctively knows she's "the one." But there's a problem.

Blue has set his cap for a woman who has given up on the search for the perfect relationship in favor of a "fling with no strings attached." This is a radical departure for a woman who's "probably read every piece of relationship advice from early Dr. Ruth to last month's `Keeping Your Man' edition of Cosmopolitan to no avail.

"...I've met more than my fair share of jerks and losers. Initially they always seem too good to be true. Prince Charming, Superman, and a knight in shining armor all rolled into one. Then they begin to show their true colors. Of course, by now I'm already involved and, fool that I am, usually believe I can save them from themselves..."

Toni has survived a series of toxic romances, the last one with a con man currently serving time. But Blue Cooper really is all that – Prince Charming, Superman and a knight in shining armor – as she learns at the first sign of trouble. When Toni is accosted by a truly doofus set of twin bad guys, Blue moves into action. She also discovers the lighthearted "True Blue" Cooper has a dark side.

"The Blue she saw now was shades darker than the Blue she was used to. Her Blue was a bright turquoise, like the water in his pool outside – cool and inviting, translucent in the light. This Blue was deep midnight, like an ocean at dark – shadowy and intense, with hidden depths."

Robyn Amos has given her readers another couple to root for. We can't wait for Blue to break Toni's resolve. To her credit, Amos doesn't rush them. The relationship between Blue and Toni develops naturally, allowing the personal reservations they have to be resolved. The author uses touches of humor throughout to keep the novel from getting bogged down. April Rivers steals every scene she's in. She's a perfect foil for "her rational thinking-things-through, older sister."

True Blue gives readers a chance to catch up on characters from Amos' earlier novels. Into the Night's Coco and Jax make an all too brief appearance in the novel. I was looking forward to the couple sharing in at least one adventure. Love has mellowed Jax Jaxson. Geri Treymaine and Jaunie Douglas, the female private investigators from Amos' Private Lies, are mentioned in this story. Through the introduction of Coffee.com, the Rivers sisters' Internet café, Robyn Amos also indulges her interest in computers that surfaced in her first novel, Promise Me.

Robyn Amos has established herself as a good storyteller. You can't go wrong with True Blue.

--Gwendolyn Osborne


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