It Must Be Love

Simply Irresistible

Truly Madly Yours

True Confessions by Rachel Gibson
(Avon, $6.99, PG-13) ISBN 0-380-81438-2
Rachel Gibson is on my short list of authors whose books I grab the moment they appear on the shelves. There’s something about her style of writing that appeals to me. Everything seems real: the quirky heroines and delicious heroes, the snappy dialogue and hot love scenes written without a single flowery phrase (thank goodness!).

In True Confessions, Hope Spencer catches the eye of most of the inhabitants of tiny Gospel, Idaho (particularly that of Sheriff Dylan Taber), when she cruises into town in her silver Porsche sporting California vanity plates MZBHAVN.

She isn’t in town five minutes before folks (Sheriff Taber, in particular) are taking bets on how long the big-city woman will last in the run-down house on Timberlane before she high-tails it out of town. But what they don’t realize is Hope has nowhere else to go. Even if the house she’s leasing looks like something out of the movie Psycho, complete with bats and a dead mouse in the oven.

Hope is a writer whose muse has deserted her. A supermarket tabloid writer for The Weekly News of the Universe, she’s the author of such wildly popular articles as: “Lost Ark of the Covenant Found in the Bermuda Triangle and “Elvis Found Living in the Garden of Eden in Bermuda Triangle.”

But things went south after a series featuring Micky the Magical Leprechaun turned into a fiasco culminating in Hope obtaining a restraining order against Myron Lombardo, the inspiration for Micky. For the last two months Hope has been unable to write a word. Her editor thinks six months in the country will jump-start her creative juices, with the added benefit of giving her a place to hide from Myron.

Hope is the type of heroine I’ve come to expect from author Rachel Gibson. Intelligent, perhaps a bit cynical and very human. After a shattering divorce, she’s picked herself up and made something of herself on her own terms. She’s proud of her job as tabloid reporter and keeps it secret only because she’d be inundated with crazy stories if people get wind of her occupation. The folks of Gospel think she’s a nature writer.

Something Dylan Taber doesn’t believe for a moment. He’s sure her idea of communing with nature was “to open the sunroof of her car as she toodled down Santa Monica Blvd.” He’s not sure what she’s hiding, but the fact that she’s a writer is enough to keep him away. He has a secret and it’s one any writer would love to get their hands on. He may be wildly attracted to Hope, but she’s definitely hands off.

Dylan is a trademark Gibson hero. Gorgeous, sexy and perhaps a little less alpha than some of her past heroes, he was a hellion growing up and couldn’t get out of Gospel fast enough. But after ten years as a homicide cop for the LAPD, he’s happy to be back. As the single parent to seven year old Adam, Gospel is a safe and peaceful place to raise a kid and Dylan knows that peace would be shattered if his secret is exposed.

The cast of secondary characters are nicely done, especially Hope’s neighbor Shelly and Dylan’s son Adam. Adam is not a cutsey kid. He behaves like a real troubled seven year old, warts and all.

The overall tone of True Confessions is fun. Each chapter features a tabloid-type title like: “Demonic Car Alarm Hypnotizes Community” and “Woman Parties At Her Own Wake” setting the tone for things to come.

I enjoyed every moment of True Confessions and while it isn’t my favorite Rachel Gibson book (Truly, Madly, Yours hold that distinction), I’m sure the author’s many fans will enjoy spending time with Hope and Dylan as much as I did.

--Karen Lynch

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