RIVER RATS by Jennifer L. Hart
08-10 by Wild Child Publishing
Alexandra “Alex” Hanson is a young mother trying desperately to support her 4 year-old son the best way she can all alone. She serves up food at the local diner and dishes out some sparse tidbits of gossip but for the most part keeps her life in check and her heart under control. But when Sam Ruiz, the new and too sexy National Park Service man walks in the door all bets seem to be off. The town needs the tourists or as they are affectionately referred to them the River Rats, but the locals don’t want the Park Service snooping around trying to change the way things should be done.
Alex has been counting pennies and keeping her life as together as possible since her parents took off for parts unknown and her grandmother died. Sam also knows great loss since his wife died and he was left to raise his daughter alone with just a little interference from his mother-in-law. When Sam decided to give up law enforcement and become an NPS agent he thought the town he chose would be quiet and uneventful but right after Sam and his family arrive his landlord’s house blows up, a murdered man is discovered and allot of strange events that may have more to do with him than the town’s dislike for the Park Service and fear of big government.
But Sam and Alex persevere through the hate and distaste the town has for both of them because they know that there are people who see the good in them and will defend them to the end and the end is most assuredly near. Sam fears it is home-grown terrorists with a taste for hate crimes but Alex thinks it is just a fight for property and some phobias the locals have about their property. But when both their children are touched by the evil and caught up in the living nightmare that people create with their prejudices Alex and Sam stop at nothing to make things right for their families the town and even for each other.
Slowly but surely Sam and Alex discover allot of secrets about each other, the supposedly peaceful town they are living in and darkness that is lurking just below the surface. Sam is persistent in his pursuit of a reluctant Alex but with all the trouble brewing around is it possible for them to have a moment alone and figure out if there is something between them they can share for a minute let alone a lifetime? Love is not a fickle friend it is a consistent shadow and both Alex and Sam know that what they have is special and if all the problems can be worked out they might just have a chance.
This is a story for everyone who thinks they have read it all. This book has love, romance, firebombing and a hate crimes mixed in, but the core is what two people who are pure of heart and free to love can do to cleanse the evil that lurks around us. Alex shows what you can make of yourself even when no one is to believe in your and Sam proves that a male with the heart of a warrior also has the soul of a saint.
Mary Gramlich is The Reading Reviewer located at www.marygramlich.com