Living down her family's reputation in a small town like Sweet Hill, TX, isn't easy, but Piper Walsh has been doing her best to keep things together for her sister and herself until their brother gets out of prison and they can move away and start new lives. Who does condescending Sheriff Hale Walters think he is, interfering and telling her how to behave? Yet as the antagonism between them grows, so does an attraction that is impossible to resist, despite their best efforts. A girl from the wrong side of the tracks and an arrogant lawman clash superbly from the get-go in this supersteamy romance that benefits from a dash of menace and a life-altering revelation. VERDICT Sure to keep the pages turning and fans of the series enthralled. Jordan (The Scandal of It All) lives in Houston. [Previewed in Joyce Sparrow's "Love Is All Around," LJ 10/15/17.]
Jordan’s thoroughly enjoyable fourth Devil’s Rock contemporary (after All Chained Up) brings family drama to the tiny town of Sweet Hill, Tex. Tenacious Piper’s parents were famously terrible, so she doesn’t expect the last name Walsh to get her anything in Sweet Hill but bad looks, false rumors, and a whole lot of trouble. Steely Sheriff Hale Walters is familiar with the Walsh family, but he doesn’t let that—or the ice water Piper dumps in his lap—cloud his judgment regarding the young woman. Once he realizes his initial impression of her was wrong and his attraction to Piper intensifies, he reluctantly invokes his rule against dating women in his jurisdiction. Despite Piper’s protests, he continues to find ways to assist her and her younger sister (of whom Piper is the legal guardian), and the constant interactions make it difficult for him and Piper to stay on opposite sides of the line they’ve drawn. Heat-loving readers will enjoy Hale’s naughty, sexy side; he’s a welcome reprieve from the usual tightly wound and inhibited sheriff character. Piper’s dedication to her family balances out her rough edges. A twist here and turn there make this heady tale very fulfilling. Agent: Maura E. Kye-Casella, Don Congdon Associates. (Jan.)
The latest in Jordan’s potently sensual Devil’s Rock series delivers all of the realistically flawed characters and red-hot sexuality fans of these books have come to expect.
A reluctant stripper gives her first lap dance to a small-town sheriff in this old-school tongue-in-cheek romance.Piper Walsh doesn't want to work at a strip club, but it's the only job she can get in the small town of Sweet Hill, where everyone knows that her brother was arrested for murder. She's embarrassed when Hale Walters, the town's new sheriff, summons her to the police department to collect her teenage sister after a night of mischief. She's even more embarrassed when a bachelor party brings Hale to Piper's club—and she lands right on his lap. But their attraction is undeniable, and this good boy might be better for the bad girl than she thinks. Although the story addresses issues of poverty and sexual harassment through a contemporary lens, it does so without losing the joy of a woman finding a chivalrous man (aka a male ally) right when she could use a change of scenery. When Piper says something wonderful like "you don't own me...or my vagina" but moves in with him anyway, and Hale grabs her and says "this is mine" soon after agreeing not to pursue her romantically so as not to ruin her employment options, readers will be right there with her. No explanation needed. Sure, Hale "saves" her a couple of times, but he's a cop; it's his job. Piper throws a couple of good punches in this story, and that's what counts. There's a scene in which the wife of a lap-dance recipient confronts Piper that is laugh-out-loud funny, and the moment when Piper realizes people are rooting for her rather than judging her is something every woman, at some point in her life, has needed to hear.Hilarious, sexy, and great fun.