Dear reader, no one is more surprised than I that this TV tie-in novel, part of a lackluster plot on my beloved soap opera General Hospital, is so undeniably awesome, and yet there you have it. Much like soap character Starr Manning, I was gasping over how good the romance was by the end. Every time I guessed that the plot was going to move in a clichéd, obvious direction, I was surprised. Whomever is writing under Connie Falconeri's pseudonym really knows their stuff, and gets my sincerest of snaps. In particular, the author seems to understand the power behind the burgeoning new adult subgenre, and the inherent conflicts that come from writing about characters as they come of age. The conflict between the hero and the heroine was completely believable and heartbreaking and the mostly chaste sex scenes were quite hot despite few graphic descriptors. Hank, especially, is hot, hot, hot, and readers will have no trouble whatsoever understanding why rich girl Madison falls totally in love with him. Soap fan or no, you're going to want to give this one a try.

Rich college student Madison Post, on a bet from her older brother, is determined to prove she's no spoiled brat. So she accepts the wager that she can't make it one entire summer on her own, no monetary help, no cell phone, none of her usual trust-fund trappings. She finds herself in Blake, Maine, talking her way into a waitressing job at a diner, and renting a room from Janet Gilbertson for $200 a month. It seems like a steal, especially when Madison glimpses Janet's son Hank, home after 10 years in the Army, damaged, hot — and, did we mention he's hot? Because it bears repeating. Hank's trying to adjust to civilian life as Madison works to get under his defenses, all before she heads back to school, and her life of privilege, in the fall. (HYPERION, Mar., 272 pp., $14.99)

*Web Exclusive Review*

Reviewed by: 
Marie Bongiorno