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Someone Like You    by Susan Mallery order for
Someone Like You
by Susan Mallery
Order:  USA  Can
HQN, 2004 (2004)
* *   Reviewed by Martina Bexte

Jill Strathern thinks she has it all -- a good marriage and a wonderful job in a great location. So when her husband gets her fired from her plumb position at a respected law firm, she's dumbfounded and then mad as hell. At the suggestion of her father, Jill returns to her home town of Los Lobos, CA, to lick her wounds, plan her divorce strategy, and temporarily take over the law practice of an old family friend who recently passed away.

Jill figures she can handle the stuffed fish on every wall of her new offices and even an assistant with an attitude - what she can't handle are the ho-hum cases that cross her desk. Determined to get back to the big city and get her life back on track, she can't get her resumes out quickly enough. As it turns out, Mac Kendrick has also come back home to Los Lobos. Mac was Jill's childhood crush, and despite his embarrassing rejection of her years before, the sparks begin flying the moment they meet. Mac has enough on his mind without Jill falling into the mix: he's trying to make things right with his young daughter Emily, trying to come to grips with his guilt over the death of his partner, and also hoping to run for re-election for town sheriff. But as the days and weeks pass, and as Mac and Jill get re-acquainted, they realize that theirs is turning into more than just a temporary fling. Add a questionable mafia don, a quirky aunt, and a social worker determined to prove Mac's an unfit father, plus a host of other small town complications, and Jill and Mac are soon wondering if their relationship is jinxed from the get-go.

This is a well written and enjoyable story with plenty of insight into small town life. Mallery's characters are interesting, well rounded and all too human. Her sympathetic portrayal of a father trying to reconnect with the child whose trust he's broken is often poignant. Mallery also injects nice doses of humour. The plot did get a little busy towards the end -- too many transitions marred the otherwise good pacing and I also found myself questioning the motivations of the mafia boss, which just didn't seem all that logical. Overall though, Someone Like You has everything you could want for a pleasant read.

Note: This book will be available in October, 2004.

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