Rich with depictions of North Carolina's beautiful Smoky Mountains, Ball's latest
is a cozy with a hint of romance. Raine Stockton is a delightful protagonist, a very human, down-to-earth character. As she quickly becomes immersed in a well-crafted mystery, she's forced to choose between the only two men she's ever loved -- a sheriff and a fugitive.

Dog trainer Raine was married to Deputy Sheriff Buck Lawson, who, along with the FBI, believes that ecoterrorist Andy Fontana may be in the area searching for the $132 million his organization has stolen over the past 15 years.

Andy was Raine's college boyfriend, but she hasn't seen him in 15 years. When the FBI searches her home, however, they find his fingerprints everywhere. Shocked, Raine realizes that Andy may be nearby. Can she find him and convince him to turn himself in before the police hunt him down? (Signet, Dec., 240 pp., $6.99)
Reviewed by: 
Sheri Melnick