Desert Isle Keeper
Match Made in Court
Janice Kay Johnson has written some of my favorite series romances, so I begin each one with high expectations. Match Made in Court did not disappoint, capturing my interest from the first page. Within a few paragraphs of reading about the hero and heroine, I felt that I knew and liked them both.
Linnea Sorenson keeps busy balancing a job at the local library and running her petsitting service. Her life is disrupted forever when she receives a call that her sister-in-law is dead and her young niece, Hanna, needs her. Linnea rushes to her brother’s home and discovers the police taking him away as a suspect in his wife’s murder.
It becomes quickly apparent that Linnea doesn’t like her brother, and is in fact afraid of him. But she adores her niece and is prepared to do anything possible to protect the young girl, even if it means fighting her niece’s uncle for custody.
Matthew Laughlin, a civil engineer working in the Middle East, returns to the United States as soon as he hears that his sister has been killed. He hates his brother-in-law and intends to see the man sent to prison for his sister’s death. He also intends to get custody of his niece. Matthew is surprised when he learns that Linnea, a woman he sees as subservient to her family, is caring for Hanna.
Linnea doesn’t care for Matthew any more than he cares for her. She thinks that Matthew is like her brother, someone used to giving orders and being obeyed. In contrast, when Matthew sees her again he’s puzzled about his earlier impression and thinks that she’s lovely. While Linnea is eventually attracted to Matthew, she worries about his ability to overpower her emotionally, just as her family has done
If you prefer kick-ass heroines, this isn’t the book for you since Linnea is anything but. Emotionally abused by her mother and brother and lacking support from her father, Linnea lacks self-confidence. It’s only in defense of Hanna that she begins to emerge. Both Linnea and Hanna grow and change over the course of the book as they come into their own. In particular, Linnea begins to see the possibilities of what she can be, and to learn her own worth.
The plot drew me in within a few paragraphs and held my attention throughout. If you hate children in romances, you’ll probably want to give this a pass, because Hanna is at the center of the relationship that develops between Linnea and Matthew. I don’t mind children in romances when they’re done well, and felt that Hanna, and the rest of the book, was well done indeed.