Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Wish You Were Here - Lani Diane Rich

Wish You Were Here
Lani Diane Rich

Contemporary Romance

According to the author’s note at the end, the characters and events of this novel were set up in the previous book, CRAZY IN LOVE. Those of us who didn’t read CRAZY IN LOVE are at a disadvantage here. It’s clear, for example, that the author assumes readers already know and sympathize with Freya Daly. For newbies meeting her for the first time, that’s not so easy.

We’re told that she was, at one time, a hard-driving businesswoman who lived for her work at her father’s real estate development company. But some unknown (to new readers) event has created what Freya calls a “condition” that causes her to cry. A lot. At inconvenient times. It’s especially inconvenient as this book begins, because Freya is at a shabby campground in nowhere, Idaho, to negotiate the sale that will secure her promotion when her father retires. Why he wants this particular piece of land so very badly, Freya neither knows nor cares. It’s simply the last hurdle to heading up her father’s company.

Of course, there’s a snag or two. Nate Brody, the owner, refuses to sell, even for an insanely inflated price. Nate’s ten-year-old daughter, Piper, desperately needs a friend and bonds with Freya almost immediately. The bond between Freya and Nate is different, but just as strong. Then Nate’s ne’er-do-well Uncle Malcolm and his ex-wife, Nikkie, who abandoned Piper as an infant, turn up and start making demands for an item Nate hasn’t got. In fact, Nate promised his dying father that he would find the item, but hasn’t yet. Arson is just the beginning of what Malcolm and Nikkie are willing to do to get what they want.

It’s hard to envision Freya as a flinty negotiator, having just met her in this book. She’s a mess, to put it mildly, but to her credit, she realizes that fact. She lost my sympathy early on when Piper confides a first crush to her and Freya responds by telling this ten-year-old child that any boy who isn’t stupid just wants to get into her pants. Nate, a protective single father, overhears this, yet still continues to indulge his physical attraction for Freya.

The mystery of what everyone is trying to get their hands on is tied nicely to the relationship between Nate and Freya. The ‘why’ of it all is more complicated and adds an extra layer to this part of the story. The author has a light and breezy style that keep the pages turning quickly. I can’t help but think that I might have liked this much more had I read the first book.

Rating: 7
November 2008
ISBN# 0-446-416825-X


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