“>Fortune’s Fool by Sara Dennis
The official blurb: Three years ago, Valerie’s husband was killed in the line of duty. Now she and her eleven-year-old son have a new home in California’s Gold Country. When he’s accidentally shot with his father’s gun, the race to the hospital puts them in the path of Dylan Graves, a Highway Patrolman with skeletons of his own that he doesn’t want to face. A widow and her son are exactly the people Dylan doesn’t need in his life, or so he thinks. Sometimes, Fate has something else in mind. He’s just hoping he doesn’t end up Fortune’s Fool.
Remember contemporaries? No otherworldy happenings, furry men, aliens. It’s what I grew up reading, and Fortune’s Fool by Sara Dennis struck me as somewhat nostalgic, harkening back to a time when you really had to get your characters nailed down and your emotion real, because there are no quirky bits to fall back on. Not that there’s anything wrong with shapeshifters, honestly. But this book was simply refereshing, exactly what I was in the mood for. It’s a classic troubled (beta) hero and single mother, but if that description doesn’t whet your appetite–Stop! Do not pass go, and give this book a try.
The characters are believable, Dylan is a hero to die for (I promise, you will want him), and the plot, while not terribly original, works. The mild sexuality is actually very erotic. One (tiny) disappointment: the children in this book didn’t sound quite natural to me, but then, I live in the mid-Atlantic states where I don’t even understand the profanities coming from kids these days. A few typos, nothing major.
The real treat is that Sara Dennis can write. Smooth, polished, no “huh?” moments, no purple prose, nothing jarring. The book was so smooth, that you could really get into the characters immediately. You walk with the main characters through each moment of the action-packed story, and Ms. Dennis manages to give each paragraph a real sense of immediacy. The little details (what a mother might do/think if her son were hurt)–she nailed them. The book is missing a bit of sense of description of place, the characters float a little in a house we can’t picture, for example. Bah–all that is trivial.
I have only one way to really judge a book. I got annoyed when my husband turned on the TV, because I wanted to get back to this book to see what happened next. I cared. Yay! I cared about fictional characters! It’s been a while.
Thanks for a great read, Ms. Dennis. 9/10 cop badges for making me care!
Do you want to win this book? Tell me what you think of contemporaries–rants and raves, right here on this blog, and I’ll pick a lucky winner this Friday!