by Janice Sims, contemporary (2007)
Kimani, $6.99, ISBN 978-0-373-83014-5
Sara Minton and Jason Bryant are already smooching and making plans for a beautiful future at the start of One Fine Day, so I know that things are going too well and something is bound to come up and throw a glitch into their plans. At any rate, he is a divorce attorney - I know, I know - who had come home to Glen Ellen to manage the famous family vineyards while she runs Aminatu's Daughters, a bookstore-cum-coffeeshop in town. They know each other from way back in high school but because she was overweight and socially uncool while he was the jock back then, love didn't happen until she's all grown up and hot. I know, I'm so cynical.
This story isn't about how Jason, formerly Sara's tormentor in high school, manages to win her heart though. He's already done that before this story begins. Instead, this story revolves around how Aminatu's Daughters is also a front for a secret government organization also called Aminatu's Daughters. Don't ask me why the heroine names her store after this organization. She must like taking risks. Aminatu's Daughters smuggle in female foreign nationals and kiddies who need protection. Jason notices the high turnover rate of the staff in Sara's bookstore, but he has no clue at first that these women are actually political refugees. Needless to say, Sara's work soon affects her relationship with Jason as her life may be in great danger.
Okay, I am exaggerating a little about that part where Sara is in danger. I don't know what to make of One Fine Day, to be honest. If I am to call it a romantic suspense, it isn't really suspenseful or even action-driven. The pacing can be quite relaxed and even sedate considering how there is a dead body floating around the place. I never get the impression that the characters are seriously in any danger of anything more then overheated libido.
I love the romantic component of the story, however. Jason and Sara are such adorable characters and their interactions with their friends and family members are fun to read. The author has a flair for writing scenes of family members and friends coming together and having conversations that don't feel awkward or designed solely to sell the reader previous and future books of the author. The romance between Jason and Sara feel pretty solid.
I also enjoy the darkly comical moments in the suspense part of the story, such as a scene of the villain in disguise visiting his imprisoned brother, but the humor doesn't quite mask the fact that the suspense portion of the story doesn't coexist well with the romance portion.
At the end of the day, I like One Fine Day more than I probably would given any other circumstances because I find the romantic aspects of the story appealing enough to make up for the not-so-successful suspense elements.
Oh, and isn't the cover simply adorable?
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