Writer's conference, short story and other fall activities have me playing catch up on the challenge. This week, in the few spare moments I had I could not put down Lisa Clark O'Neill's Serendipity (Southern Comfort Book 1).
Veterinarian Ava Martinez, is the niece of one of the South's biggest crime lords. She is determined not to get sucked into the underworld that has left her father in prison and her mother missing. One night she happens across an unconscious man in the trunk of a car outside one of her uncle's fronts. Risking her own life to do the right thing she helps him escape and delivers him to the emergency room. She hopes that's the last anyone knows or the event. Imagine her surprise a few days later when he shows up at her clinic with a stray dog that he is adopting and he turns out to be an Assistant District Attorney. The very persistent prosecutor, Jordan Wellington, is smitten at first sight and pursues Dr. Martinez doggedly (pun intended) though not knowing that she is the person who saved his life. He has no memory of the night that he was attacked.
There are mafia books and there are serial killer books, but this one includes both a mafia story line and a serial killer story line. You would think that those two stories might provide enough tension, but the real tension in this story is when Jordan will figure out exactly why Ava seems so familiar and when Ava will tell him. With all that is going on in the lives of these two characters, it would be easy for the plot to skim along the surface of the events. Fortunately, it doesn't. In addition to the intrigue surrounding the main characters, we also get a deep story about personal growth and transformation.
The thing I like best about this book is that the characters are not stupid or over-emotional. It's easy in a book where romance is the primary story to overwrite the emotions of the characters. Everything becomes overblown and characters react emotionally instead of intelligently. I frequently find myself yelling things like "You fool." or "Are you kidding me?" at my Kindle. If my Paperwhite had feelings, it would need therapy. I DID NOT find myself doing that with this book. I DID find myself rooting for these two likable, intelligent characters and their pets to find their way through their trials to some resolution. I was not disappointed and definitely recommend Serendipity to anyone who enjoys a good love story.