Dalton's Undoing

The Intepreter

Renegade Father

Saving Grace

The Valentine Two-Step

The Wrangler & the
Runaway Mom

 
Shelter From the Storm
by RaeAnne Thayne
(SRS 1467, $4.99 PG) ISBN 0-373-27537-3
***
RaeAnne Thayne has set Shelter from the Storm in the small town of Moose Springs near Park City, Utah where at least one of her prior stories has been set. Secondary characters in another story are front and center in Shelter from the Storm. Dr. Lauren Maxwell is the daughter of the former mayor who had embezzled seven figures from the citizens of Moose Springs, and then committed suicide when discovered. The discovery process also revealed the existence of his other family, a wife and children in anther city. Lauren has opened her clinic in the town with some subconscious thought of trying to repay her fatherís debts. The entire town does still not accept her, but her practice has begun to grow and she is content. †

Content except for her lonely existence. Sheriff Daniel Galvez is also lonely but Lauren turned him down for a date years before and he is not about to suffer that indignity again. He was humiliated since he took her refusal for a condemnation of his lower social class. Dan had moved back to town during his motherís final illness to care for her and stayed to become the sheriff. †

Dan is having a cut sutured by Lauren when the dispatcher calls to tell him a local citizen has found a girl who has been beaten up under the tarp in the back of his pick up. Lauren goes with Dan to the scene to find a young, badly injured pregnant girl who they take to the Park City Hospital. †

Gradually Rosaís story is revealed. She and a friend had escaped their survival level existence in Mexico only to find themselves in worse straits in the US. The promise of a job turned out to be in the white slave trade, and she has escaped. †

Dan calls his friend in the FBI into the case. Realizing Rosa is at risk, they try and find a safe house for her while waiting for the grand jury to meet to indict the man who beat her up. He is only an underling and they are investigating to find the ringleader.

No safe house, so predictably Lauren takes Rosa in and Dan moves in to protect them. Readers have seen this plot device before and can well anticipate the results of close proximity, which becomes closer due to a raging snowstorm.

Thayne does a good job on character development and the emotional baggage each character carries is not so onerously presented as to be tedious for the reader. Lauren and Dan are enjoyable characters and Shelter from the Storm, except for a somewhat contrived ending, is an easy read.

† †

--Thea Davis


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