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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Bonded for Life by Sharon Buchbinder

Bonded for Life by Sharon Buchbinder
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (61 pgs)
Heat Level: Sensual
Rating: 3.5 Books
Reviewed by Poppy

When Lola Getz receives the invitation to her high school reunion, her first impulse is to toss it into the shredder. A terrible thing happened the day before her graduation-she never wanted to return to that dreadful place. But, when the Mexican drug wars heat up literally in her back yard, she’s forced to flee her home and run to safe little Summerville.

Forty-three year-old police officer Webster (Web) Bond lives in Summerville and knows all about the bothersome reunion preparations. He has no fond memories of that time in his life when he was known as “The Dweebster.” The only person Web’s interested in seeing probably doesn’t even remember him.

Little does Lola know when she arrives under cover of night that The Dweebster has grown up to become a hunky cop--and he has her in his cross hairs.

This book hits the ground running, and never really slows down. I admit to being surprised at the serious tone of this book, having read several of the Class of ’85 stories and enjoying their lighthearted romance themes. This one is not a sweet, light romance... it’s full of tension and excitement and mystery.

Our heroine, Lola, finds herself in a tough spot – she’s a member of a pretty powerful family who skirts the edge of the law, and knows she’s constantly at risk of kidnapping. When the threat becomes real, she escapes and runs to the one place she thinks they’ll never look for her: her high school reunion in the United States.

Back in the states, there’s a man named Webster who remembers Lola, the girl he befriended and had a crush on that year in school. Even now, he thinks of her. Wonders how she is. So when he stumbles across her as she enters town, he’s both shocked and excited.

This story is packed with sexual tension and remembered high school angst. But, I wonder if the author didn’t try to put in too much for this length. There’s a lawman with a drug problem that is never really integral to the plot and doesn't get resolved and I have to wonder why it was included, background between several of the characters that is hinted at, but doesn’t really forward the plot. And I think the ending was resolved just a little too easily.

Still, the relationship between Lola and Webster make the story worth reading. She has to learn to trust again, and there’s no more solid person in the world than Webster. Their attraction and affection for each other is so clear and made my romantic heart very satisfied.

If you’d like a short story packed with suspense and romance, I don’t think you’ll go wrong with this one. I do wonder, though, if Ms. Buchbinder has a sequel planned.