Clarice Jarrod is reaching her dreams. She has an ideal job teaching third grade in a wonderful, cozy rural Virginia town, and she's just purchased a home. Her dreams become nightmares when someone tries to scare her out of her home, and then tries to kill her.

Captivated by the sexy new teacher in town, Tylan Chance thinks he knows her type: brainy and haughty with a wouldn't-be-caught-dead-with-a-mechanic attitude. But then he becomes her self-appointed protector and discovers Clarice is a warm, loving woman who's had so much responsibility for so long she doesn't know how to relax and let someone take care of her for a change.

Tylan and Clarice are caught in awakening desire while solving a 37-year-old murder and coping with the reality of love. Ms. Poarch has captured rural Virginia's autumn gold warmth and the deep emotions that form the foundation of abiding love in this excellent debut novel. (Feb., 284 pp., $4.99)

Reviewed by: 
Cheryl Ferguson