Patsy Lee Clark has big plans. She wants to break free from her uninspiring cashier job and leave her tiny Ozarks town behind. This time, no one is going to stop her.

Enter Will Barnes. Will is the former bad boy of Daisy Creek, back again after making loads of money, and he looks hotter than the summer sun on a cloudless Missouri afternoon. But he wants to stay and Patsy wants to go. How could a relation-ship ever work?

In her debut novel, Devoti creates a strong Southern flavor that is very appealing. The dialogue and descriptions are well written, and the many characters are as colorful as some of their conversational expressions.

But the external conflict between the protagonists is extremely weak, and what does exist takes a long time coming. Not much beside personality quirks and misunderstandings hold this couple apart. This is unfortunate, because these interesting characters could handle much more trouble. (May, 352 pp., $3.99)
Reviewed by: 
Marilyn Weigel