The return of Emma Jean Frasier to Joyful, Georgia, is big news—made even bigger by the erroneous gossip that she is a porn star. After she left Joyful following high school and her legendary humiliation, Emma made it a point to stay away. But her grandmother's death and a Securities and Exchange Commission investigation into her partner over stolen company money has left Emma with little recourse.

Local prosecutor Johnny Walker was once considered the town bad boy, and Emma's return stirs up more than memories for them both. Their prom debacle is infamous, but their passion for each other is still roaring. Trouble starts when Emma learns that part of her inheritance has been sold off under suspicious circumstances. That the land is going to be used for a strip club really roasts her, so she's on the warpath. Things are getting a tad ugly in Joyful.

Good ol' boy attitudes and laid-back charm make this splendid tale a local delicacy. Kelly brings wit, humor and exuberance to one woman's reluctant attempt to go home again. (Mar., 384 pp., $6.50)
Reviewed by: 
Jill M. Smith