Tuesday, November 20, 2007

[Book Review] A MAN OF MEANS by Diana Palmer


Dean Moore reviews A MAN OF MEANS by Diana Palmer (Silhouette Books, 2002)

The story begins with Meredith Johns leaving a wild Halloween party. On her way home, still dressed in a skimpy burlesque dancer's costume, she encounters a well-dressed man being attacked by two other men. Making lots of noise and with the element of surprise, she frightens the attackers away. She then proceeds to tend the man’s wounds and borrows his cell phone to call for help. In this way she meets Rey Hart. He is one of five brothers who run a Texas cattle ranch. At the hospital, she calls the Hart Ranch and tells Leo, Rey's brother, about the attack. Leo wakes the pilot of the ranch’s private jet and travels to Houston to take care of his brother. At first Rey and Leo both are suspicious of Meredith. In fact, they are more than suspicious. They are vicious. A large part of the mystery of this novel is found in Meredith’s true background and career.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch...The Hart brothers have lost their cook. And, they really love homemade biscuits. Due to serious personal and family issues, Meredith must take some extended time off from her regular work. Rey becomes aware of Meredith as a possible interim cook and invites her to take the position. She accepts the offer hoping for a brief break from work and family stress. In spite of the unpromising beginning between Meredith and the Hart family, romance soon blooms.

This fast-paced romance features strong character development, exciting relationships and a realistic story line with a wonderful ending. Although not written as a mystery, A Man of Means certainly contains a strong element of suspense.

Dean Moore, Frayser Branch Library

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