The Bride Thief

Red Roses Mean Love

Whirlwind Affair

Whirlwind Wedding

 
In Over His Head
by Jacquie DíAlessandro
(Harl. Temptation # 917, $4.25, PG-13) ISBN 0-373-69117-3
***
In Over His Head uses affable, if familiar, elements in this story of a rodeo star and a swim instructor. Itís an entertaining romance thatís good for an afternoonís reading.

Rodeo Star Josh Maynard is hanging up his spurs and is about to embark on his late fatherís dream of sailing around the Mediterranean. To that end, Josh has booked into an exclusive Florida resort for three weeks in hopes of getting some much-needed training. Not only canít he sail, he canít swim.

Lexie Webster is single, manless, and ready for a fling after eleven months of celibacy. Her last boyfriend was an adrenaline junkie, a major turnoff to Lexie, who is saving every penny in hopes of buying a beachfront lot on a secluded cove. A no-strings-attached fling is just the ticket. When Josh walks into the resort where she gives water sports lessons and asks for private tutoring, Lexie decides sheís found the perfect candidate.

It isnít long before Lexie and Josh embark on that fling. But what happens when he falls in love, and she isnít willing to admit this could be more than a quick romance?

There isnít much more to the story than that. Itís true, Lexie has no idea what Josh did for a living, and when she finds out heís a former daredevil, you can guess the rest - especially when Josh is lured out of retirement for a charity rodeo and a shot at besting his oldest rival for once and for all. But the romance, which follows a period of instantaneous lust, is well done and believable. The conflict is a bit less so.

Josh is a particularly likable character, perhaps because he falls first and isnít afraid to admit it. Lexieís bias toward risk makes no sense to him, and he rightly points out that his is a calculated risk taken by a professional, not someone out for thrills. Plus, he could just as easily be hurt doing something as simple as tripping over a box or falling off a ladder. Given that Lexie didnít exactly have her heart broken by her last boyfriend, her extreme reaction felt forced.

And note to cover art department: do you ever read the descriptions of the characters? When an author makes repeated references to her heroineís short, curly hair and then sheís illustrated on the cover with long, flowing locks, it doesnít help the cause.

In Over His Head is a perfectly acceptable romance - light, breezy, and entertaining. Jacquie DíAlessandroís trademark snappy dialogue is here in force, and that alone makes the book worth a look.

--Cathy Sova


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