BABY, DRIVE SOUTH
A few cute pets and a slew of hunky men make the first in Bond’s new Southern Roads trilogy a good time. Readers may find, however, that they can predict the next plot twist and they’ll wonder why the characters can’t see it, too.
The Armstrong brothers are determined to rebuild their tornado-ravaged hometown of Sweetness, Ga. They’re making good progress when youngest brother Porter decides that the all-male endeavor needs some feminine scenery. He places a women-wanted ad that nets a caravan of females, including Dr. Nikki Salinger, who is running from a broken heart. Almost immediately Nikki knows her impulsive trip was a mistake, and she wants to leave. Porter has other ideas and isn’t above a bit of trickery to get her to stay. As Nikki’s plans get de-railed by a broken van, an injured deer and a sick pug, she finally gives in to Porter’s significant charms. When her ex shows up and Porter’s deceptions are revealed, Nikki must decide whether to follow her (not so trustworthy) heart or hit the road. (MIRA, Jun., 336 pp., $7.99)