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Lover's Lane    by Jill Marie Landis order for
Lover's Lane
by Jill Marie Landis
Order:  USA  Can
Ballantine, 2003 (2003)
Hardcover, Audio
* *   Reviewed by Martina Bexte

Private investigator Jake Montgomery is in Twilight Cove, hoping that after six long years of searching, he finally has a positive lead that will take him to his deceased best friend Rick's missing son Christopher. After skillfully eluding Rick's parents and other investigators they hired to track her down, Rick's troubled former fianc9e, Caroline Graham, may have finally become too complacent about her new life in the tiny California coastal town of Twilight Cove. If Jake's hunch pans out and he proves that waitress and up-and-coming painter Carly Nolan is really Caroline Graham it will put his investigating firm on the map. However, he also wants to honour Rick's memory and his wishes, which wouldn't include Rick's very rich parents taking little Christopher away from his mother and raising him as their own.

The day Rick Saunders came back into Carline/Carly's life and announced that he planned to do right by her and his son was the happiest day of her life. But her joy died along with Rick in the car wreck. When his wealthy parents sent their high-priced lawyer to negotiate a deal to buy their grandson, Carly refused to be intimidated and decided to run instead. She kept one step ahead of the Saunders for years and thought she and Chris were finally safe in Twilight Cove. When a stranger comes to town asking questions and showing a little too much interest in her, Carly's radar goes on high alert. She doesn't want to run again, after finding a home, stability and the friends she always craved for herself and for Chris. But she'll do it in a heartbeat to keep her son safe. She can't help being attracted to Jake Montgomery's kind and easy going manner, as well as the fact that he gets along so well with Chris. Within days of meeting she and Jake begin a tentative relationship. But once she finds out the real reason he's in Twilight Cove, Carly's immediate reaction is to take Chris and run.

Jill Marie Landis has garnered an impressive list of emotionally satisfying historical romances. With Lover's Lane, she takes her first foray into mainstream contemporary romance, giving readers a well-written, character-driven, and emotionally poignant story that works on all levels. Jake finds himself torn between honoring his friend's memory and the needs of Rick's still-grieving mother to meet her long-lost grandson, while re-evaluating his pre-conceived assumptions about Carly and his struggle to keep an emotional distance. Carly too must work hard to overcome her mistrust of others and the realization that running away from life's darker moments and from true love is not always the answer. If you like great characters and emotional depth, look no further than Lover's Lane.

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