JOURNEY BY CHANCE
When Gina Phillips arrives in Valley Oak, she's got problems haunting her, as well as physical pain. She's in town for a month with her mother to attend her cousin's wedding and other family functions. Try as she might, she can't seem to shake her cousin's best man, Brady Olafsson.
Brady is an author/framer who once had a crush on Gina when they were teens. Back then, her killer smile melted him every time. Now her current demeanor is anything but warming. Still, he attempts to get past their history and her icy attitude.
Too many initial characters cloud this story, making it difficult to identify with the heroine. The author dangles too many carrots, too soon, as well. Though newcomer Sally John writes with skill and has great potential, this reviewer was unable to form an attachment to the story or the characters. (Mar., 400 pp., $10.99)