by Denise A Agnew, contemporary (2008)
Liquid Silver Books, $5.25, ISBN 978-1-59578-487-2
In Within His Sight, our heroine Mary Wickers decides that she needs to leave the town of Gold Rush in order to get away from annoying men and, oh yes, think about what she wants to do with her life. She is 35 and has been an administrative assistant at police stations for almost 14 years now. She also has issues about forming relationships with men in hazardous occupations due to issues to go all the way back to her father. She believes that it is time she apply some changes to her life.
Our SWAT member hero Dace Banovic isn't happy at all when he learns of Mary's plans. She is his friend, after all, and he doesn't want her to leave. All of a sudden, folks around them are doing their best to match the two of them. Between that and Dace coming to Mary's rescue later on when she finds herself stuck in a messy situation, they may have a chance at having a happily ever after despite Mary's issues with Dace's occupation.
Within His Sight is a very enjoyable romance, mostly because of how the characters communicate with each other so well that their friendship and eventual romance feel solid and credible. Both characters come off as intelligent and likable people who are right for each other. The story is also well-paced right up to the grand climax and subsequent winding-down of events following that climax. Since this is a novella, I don't have much expectations about characterization and such, but to my delight, Ms Agnew has created two solid characters here that feel like real people rather than mere characters in a romance that feels just right.
The only downside I find here is Ms Agnew's depiction of male-male camaraderie between Dace and his friends. This is the only aspect of the story that rings really false, because there is absolutely no way that guys in real life - especially men like Dace and his friends - will be this mild and even "woman-like" when it comes to discussing women.
At any rate, Within His Sight is a most enjoyable romance. This author is new to me and I don't have any expectation upon reading this one, so I'm most pleasantly surprised to realize how much I enjoy this novella. Perhaps I should check out the author's other works just to find out whether they are as good as this one.
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