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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The Sweetheart Dance by Patti Ann Colt

The Sweetheart Dance by Patti Ann Colt
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full (264 pgs)
Heat: Spicy
Rating: 5 Books
Reviewed by Lilac

Although Echo Falls high school teacher Meg Applegate aches to belong to Bret Cara body and soul, he maintains a hands-off policy. She is wife material and violates his no relationship philosophy based on years with combative parents. But when a practical joker spikes Meg’s drinks at the Valentine’s Day Sweetheart Dance, Bret comes to her rescue – and she astounds him with a hot, sensual kiss. Assisting the police department in tracking teen felons, Meg takes the opportunity to snag the handsome cop’s attention and they launch an affair based on Bret’s ‘no strings’ rules. But each searing encounter conflicts with her beliefs and dreams. She cannot maintain their bargain forever, but despite making love he seems no closer to giving her what she needs. When Meg’s conscience demands more from him, will Bret walk away or deliver his heart?

In this wonderful story filled with great characters and an intriguing plot, a high school teacher and a cop find themselves drawn to one another as they work to solve the mystery involving a theft ring.

I quickly fell in love with the town of Echo Falls and the family of Meg Applegate, a high school teacher who longs for police officer Bret Cara. When the two are forced to work together on a case involving some local thefts and a possible connection to Meg’s students, Meg decides to use the time together to her advantage and sets out to seduce Bret. But Bret has strict policy when it comes to relationships and entanglements…he avoids them like the plague…and will only settle for a “no strings” affair. Meg definitely has her work cut out for her as she tries to break through Bret’s defenses and I enjoyed every minute of her attempts.

Bret was an interesting and complex character. While he cares for Meg and she definitely brings out his protective instincts, he is reluctant to get involved or take their relationship beyond the physical because of relationships from the past so he pushes her away. He has been deeply affected by his parents dysfunctional relationship and doesn’t believe a functional relationship exists despite the examples he sees among the people of Echo Falls and Meg’s loving family. But he has met his match in the feisty Meg and her matchmaking family, and he begins to question his beliefs on relationships.

In addition to the romance of the story, there is a bit of mystery involving the teen suspects and a ring of recent thefts. This element only enhanced the story and captured my attention as I anticipated what would happen next. It also tied in nicely to the relationship between Bret and Meg, providing them with opportunities to interact as well a few obstacles to overcome.

The Sweetheart Dance is a wonderful story that I have no reservations about recommending. The cast of interesting characters come together with an intriguing plot to make for one great read!