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Friday, April 24, 2009

Rough Edges by Jannifer Hoffman

Rough Edges by Jannifer Hoffman
Publisher: Resplendence Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full (256 pages)
Heat: Spicy
Rating: 5 Books
Reviewed by Camellia

When Julia Morgan M.D. miscarries twin girls she divorces her husband believing he is to blame. He forces her out of her position at the hospital and threatens her credibility as a doctor if she attempts to practice medicine. Without mentioning her medical degree, Julia accepts a position as nanny on a Colorado ranch 900 miles away.

Dirk Travis is in trouble. His wife has gone missing, and his housekeeper is threatening to quit. He is in desperate need of a reliable person to look after his four-year-old twins. Even though Julia appears to be the answer to his prayers he can’t help but think she’s a bit too perfect.

Both insist their relationship will be business only. While those plans start to go awry, other things begin to happen. People are getting killed and Dirk is the prime suspect, but that doesn’t stop the heat index from rising between Dirk and Julia, even as she appears to be the next target.

Not lies, just omissions of facts, set Julia and Dirk up for a turbulent employer/employee association that supposedly would have NO PERSONAL INVOLVEMENT.

Jannifer Hoffman weaves an intense, delightful, and all-around enthralling story full of a wide range of characters that sweep the story along with scary, heart-stopping events and with breathtaking love and tender moments.

Dr. Julia Compandi, in an effort to escape her abusive ex-husband who is well respected by his colleagues and social acquaintances, becomes a nanny to four-year-old twins on a Colorado ranch. Having grown up with a controlling father then marrying a man even more controlling, she admits, “I don’t do well in aggressive situations.” With the help of her psychiatrist sister Katie, Julia struggles to make a life without practicing as a doctor but her need to help others with her medical training puts her in danger of being found by her ex-husband who refuses to relinquish his control over her and her fortune.

At his wit’s end when his long-absent wife dumps the three children at the ranch and disappears, Dirk Travis hires Julia even though he has a feeling she is “too-good-to-be-true.” His rugged animalism, gray wolf eyes, and rough edges belie the loving and caring nature that he shows to his children. But his looks fit his hot temper that landed him in jail for four months. His record and temper put him at a disadvantage in his dealings with the law and particularly with deputy Stanford.

The winsome four-year-old Jason and Christa are bright, shiny threads in the tapestry of this love story. The “too-soon-grownup” Megan is the blending thread that steadily weaves a continuity of security for Jason and Christa in the absence of their mother—as best an eleven year old can. They, along with Dirk’s grumpy father; Rosie, the house help; Melody, Dirk’s used-to-be girl friend, help to make a bright design in the tapestry of the story. But dark designs emerge in the tapestry as the agenda of some sinister secondary characters infringe on the lives of the people at the Rocker T Ranch.

Janiffer Hoffman’s smooth writing style, revealing descriptions, splendid love scenes, and well-developed characters make Rough Edges a novel to be enjoyed more than once—a good one for the library.