JADED – Anne Calhoun
The Walkers Ford Series , Book 2
Walkers Ford, South Dakota – The Present
With a family that controls a powerful and profitable foundation and a sister who has lived up to the role their mother envisioned for them, Alana Wentworth temporarily escaped the family's demands. Leaving the family's headquarters in Chicago, she went to Walkers Ford as a temporary librarian until the town hires a full time director. However, she is renting a house from the town's hunky and handsome chief of police, Lucas Ridgeway. He lives next-door. Without the quick social manner and wit of her sister, Alana blushes profusely and often when trying to figure out what to say. She wants to say a lot to the stern and solitary Lucas, mostly along the lines of let's have a fling while I am in town.
Lucas gave up his job with the Denver Police Department and returned to Walkers Ford in an attempt to save his marriage. His plan failed, and he and his wife divorced two years ago. Jaded by his divorce and his experiences in Denver, he knows his career has plateaued in Walkers Ford, but it is home. And family? He has his dog Duke. His renter has raised thoughts and feelings he had given up on. Her blushes intrigue him. Yet Alana is in Walkers Ford only temporarily, so maybe he can work out the lust she engenders without any worries about commitment.
JADED juxtaposes different life styles and desires plus family dynamics and problems, including addiction. Some missing rings add curious situations, as do the many interesting characters who inhabit Walkers Ford: Mayor Mitch Turner, who keeps extending Alana's stay; Mrs. Battle, the former teacher who helps at the library; and teenage thief Cody, who is working off court ordered community service at the library. Alana's mother and her sister Freddie also provide counterpoints to Alana's demure charm. Lucas's cousin Tanya adds drama. Emotional situations provide the story's tension, but the by-play of those expressions makes JADED an engrossing story.