Sunday, December 1, 2013

Rebel With a Heart - Carol Arens (HH #1160 - Nov 2013)


Trace Ballentine, investigative journalist, has gone undercover to expose corruption at a remote South Dakota hospital. And when his long-lost sweetheart appears out of nowhere -- beautiful, vulnerable and with two adorable children in tow -- he can't risk blowing his cover.

Lilleth Preston finds bumbling librarian Clark Clarkly curiously attractive…and strangely familiar. Is there more to the mysterious, bookish Clark than meets the eye? But she has secrets of her own, and revealing the truth could put both Trace and Lilleth in grave danger….

Good book.  I liked Trace's intense desire to get to the bottom of things at the hospital.  It is part of his job as an investigative reporter, but he is also moved by the conditions the inmates are suffering.  He's getting closer when he runs into Lilleth.  He really wants to tell her who he is but he can't risk it.  Lilleth has come to Riverwalk to rescue her sister who was placed in the hospital by her unscrupulous brother-in-law who is after her inheritance.  Lilleth also kidnapped her niece and nephew to protect them.  She's not sure how she's going to accomplish her goal, but she is determined.  When Trace, in his disguise as the clumsy Clark Clarkly, rescues her and the children she is drawn to him.  She also feels like she knows him, but she can't figure out how.  She wants to trust him with her secrets but she's afraid of what could happen if she did.

I loved Trace's protectiveness toward Lilleth.  He had cared for her a great deal when they were teenagers and had been upset when she and her family disappeared.  He had never forgotten her and was stunned when she appeared in Riverwalk.  I loved seeing him take care of her and the children while at the same time protecting his identity.  The longer she was around the more he wanted to tell her the truth.  He also found himself getting distracted from his mission to expose the hospital.  I really enjoyed seeing the way he quickly became part of Lilleth's little family.  I liked the ending and the way so many came together to rescue the people in the hospital.

Lilleth had been working as a singer until she got word of her brother-in-law's death and her sister's disappearance.  The children's uncle was a creepy little man with bad intentions.  I liked the way that she used his fear of ghosts to get the kids away.  Lilleth is a very resourceful woman and she figured out where her sister had been taken.  Now she has to find a way to free her.  When she encounters Trace in his disguise she's angered at first by his bumbling.  But it doesn't take long for his willingness to help her to win her over.  There is also something about him that feels familiar but she can't figure out what it is.  She does know that she's developing feelings for "Clark".  When she finally trusts him with the truth of why she's there she's surprised to find out that he's been helping the inmates in his own way.  But when he finally confesses to her who he really is, she's furious with him for the deception.  She let her pride get in the way for awhile but things finally came together for them at the end.

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