BENDING THE RULES
This delightful follow-up
to Cutting Loose works
on several levels. A witty, lighthearted romance, it is also a sensitive exploration of troubled teens and family ties. The characters are full bodied, the plot is well developed and the style is just plain fun. Once you get into this one, you will definitely be after the first, and on the lookout for the third.
Poppy and her two BFFs were informally adopted by Miss Wolcott in their youth and bequeathed her mansion and collections upon her death. Soon after receiving their inheritance, they had some trouble that led to unsatisfactory interactions with Seattle's finest -- in particular, Detective Jason de Sanges.
Now, months later, Poppy is trying to convince some merchants who have been vandalized by graffiti that her art for troubled youth program is a better sentence than jail for the teen taggers. Who gets assigned to be the police rep on the job? The hunky yet nasty detective. He's sure that Poppy is a spoiled rich girl (ha!), and she's sure that he eats nails for breakfast and hates kids (not really). Meanwhile, the kids need to overcome their prejudice against authority -- and cops in particular. Maybe the adults in question can learn that they can care for each other as well. (HQN, Jul., 384 pp., $7.99)