Along Came a Husband
I liked the atmosphere and sense of community that Helen Brenna creates in Along Came a Husband. I loved the island setting and the small town atmosphere as well, and the characters were vivid and very well developed. I think I’ve found a new series romance writer to put on the auto-buy list.
Melissa Camden was born with a silver and gold spoon in her mouth. Her senator father was wealthy, influential, and very, very controlling. Melissa rebelled in every way she could. Since her father was conservative, Melissa became an archetypal peace, love, and butterflies hippie chick. One day, as she was giving tarot readings, she met a group of FBI agents and did a reading for one of them – Jonas Abel. Sparks flew, and they had sex in the back of his SUV. Sparks continued to fly and they were married a few months later. Daddy did not approve, but Melissa, still the rebel, went ahead with the marriage only to discover that when the initial rush was over, she and Jonas had almost nothing in common.
Jonas’s workaholism was the last straw and Melissa planned to serve him with divorce papers, but before she could, he was killed in a helicopter crash. Not wanting to have anything to do with her family, she cut them off and totally disappeared. Melissa changed her name to Missy Charms and ended up on Mirabelle Island, an idyllic tourist spot in the Great Lakes. She bought a souvenir shop and has settled down in the town. Then one day a wounded man shows up at her home.
Of course it’s Jonas. He had only faked his death. For the past four years he has been in deep, deep cover working on bringing down a large drug smuggling operation. It seems though, that his cover has been blown and Jonas can trust no one in the bureau. He can trust Missy though, and he plans to lay low until he heals then deal with the situation. Missy is not happy to see him. She remembers all too well that for Jonas, his work was first and she got what was left over and she doesn’t want the fragile world she’s built for herself to be torn apart.
I’ll admit, at first I didn’t like Missy or Jonas. I am not fond of the hippie earth mother character, but Missy was more than just a stereotype, and under Jonas’s gruff exterior was a man who had been badly hurt by his own father. They had married out of sheer lust, and neither of them knew how to communicate. When Jonas comes to Mirabelle Island, at first they snap and snarl at each other just like they used to do when they were married. But Jonas can’t leave and lose himself in his work like he used to and they are forced to talk to each other. It’s a slow process, but they both discover some uncomfortable truths about themselves, but they also realize that they love each other, they have a bond and together they are better people than when they are apart.
I see that Helen Brenna has a number of older Harlequin Superromance titles and I have a nice bit of credit at the used bookstore. I know exactly where I’m going this weekend. I’d love to see Helen Brenna write a single title contemporary romance. She has a way with place and characters that is a delight to read.