Contemporary and compelling, the novels of JoAnn Ross draw their power from the laughter and tears that fill women's lives. Now, after her triumphant bestseller A Woman's Heart, she makes a dazzling Pocket Books debut with a richly emotional tale of a woman struggling with her unconventional family...and a deep longing for a love of her own.
Fighting legal battles eighty hours a week has left Raine Cantrell burned out and empty. Although she once dreamed that success might make the father who walked away without a backward glance take notice, the high-powered big-city lawyer now finds herself feeling very alone. Then she gets an urgent call from three kids in trouble in her Washington state hometown, and suddenly Raine is returning to face unresolved feelings, unhealed wounds -- and an unexpected desire.
Sheriff Jack O'Halloran, a man with a tragedy in his past and a six-year-old daughter to raise alone, has three teens barricaded inside a house and the media clamoring for a story. He isn't ready for Raine to invade his territory -- or his thoughts. And Raine isn't ready for anyone to touch her heart.
Unable to deny their attraction to each other, their solution is adult, reasonable -- and totally foolish. They decide to have a simple affair. But they are about to discover that love is rarely simple -- and that lives can change forever in a single heartbeat.
A tender and deeply affecting tale, Homeplace will linger in your heart long after the last page is turned.
While Ross's newest modern love story is nicely put together, it's very similar to a cluster of recent romances that have just hit the market. The novel stars a high-powered corporate lawyer, Ms. Raine Cantrell, who's making a splash in New York City but has no lover, no friends and no home-cooked meals. She's called back to her grandmother's home on Washington's Olympic Peninsula, where three delinquent teenage girls have barricaded themselves and are holding off Sheriff Jack O'Halloran and a squad of law-enforcement officers. It seems that Raine's grandmother Ida has been hospitalized for a day, and no one is around to take care of her foster girls. As Raine neglects her New York practice to make sure the trio is not returned to the system, she falls in love with Jack, a gentle though macho widower whose wife has died of cancer. Beyond the entertaining quirky Pacific Northwest types (similar to those invented by Jayne Ann Krentz), there are few surprises here. (Mar.) -- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.
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October 31, 2006
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Excerpt from Homeplace by JoAnn Ross
It was a damn three-ring circus. And Olympic County sheriff Jack O'Halloran had gotten stuck with the job of ringmaster. Despite the cold spring drizzle, the hillside was covered with people, many carrying cameras. Some bolder, or more curious, individuals pressed as close as they could to the white police barricades. Kids were running all over the place, laughing, shrieking, chasing one another, having themselves a dandy time. The mood couldn't have been any more electric if a bunch of TV stars had suddenly shown up on Washington's Olympic Peninsula to tape an episode of NYPD Blue.
Ignoring the rain dripping off the brim of his hat, Jack scowled at the vans bearing the names and logos of television stations from as far away as Spokane. Which wasn't all that surprising. After all, Coldwater Cove had always been a peaceful town. So peaceful, in fact, it didn't even have its own police department, the city fathers choosing instead to pay for protection from the county force. Crime consisted mainly of the routine Saturday night drunk and disorderly, jaywalking, calls about barking dogs, and last month a customer had walked off with the ballpoint pen from Neil Olson's You-Pump-It Gas 'N Save. It definitely wasn't every day three teenage girls barricaded themselves in their group home and refused to come out.
Meanwhile, Dr. Ida Lindstrom, their court-appointed guardian and owner of the landmark Victorian house, had apparently set off this mini-crime wave when she'd been taken to the hospital after falling off a kitchen stool. Although the information was sketchy, from what Jack could determine, when a probation officer had arrived to haul the unsupervised kids back to the juvenile detention center, Ida had held an inflammatory press conference from her hospital bed, adding fuel to an already dangerously volatile situation by instructing the girls to "batten down the hatches."