A Man With a Past
When an unexpected inheritance sends J.D. Carver to the Star Lake Lodge to claim his half, he's expecting trouble. Being greeted with open arms by the whole Lawrence gang—feisty Aunt Sophie and calm Uncle Ben, clearly off-limits Dru and her young son, Tate—just convinces him they're working an angle, and he's determined to uncover it. But a tiny part of him longs for the home-and-hearth life they have.
A Woman With a Reputation
Dru's finally beaten her bad-girl reputation, and though the Lodge may not be exciting, she's fiercely protective of her quiet home. Hard-eyed J.D.'s ability to push all her buttons just proves how wrong he is for her. So why does her son hero-worship the guy? And why does her heart clench when he gets that "nose pressed against the candy shop window" look on his face?
Readers will appreciate the well-drawn, saucy characters and witty exchanges that garnish Andersen's latest (following Be My Baby) rags-to-riches romance. When construction foreman J.D. Carver inherits part ownership of a swank lodge, he accepts the windfall with relief (to be leaving "Rat City") and some measure of suspicion. Having been raised on the mean streets of Seattle, drifting from foster home to foster home, J.D. can't believe that a foster mother who had once tossed him out after accusing him of theft is now leaving him her estate. Moreover, his new business partners, Dru Lawrence and her Aunt Sophie and Uncle Ben, are just too nice about the whole thing. Despite J.D.'s overly suspicious nature, he is strangely attracted to Dru's "girl-next-door" charm, and an engaging but fitful romance develops between the two. A perfect balance of femininity, spunk and vulnerability, Dru is an unusually likable heroine, and J.D., in his struggle to let go of his past and become part of this "Disney" life, is a fine hero. Unlike many romances that are merely light entertainment, Andersen's winning tale echoes with themes about learning to love, trust and believe in the goodness of humanity.