Review of CHARMING JO by Laura Drewry (see her website)
Zebra Books, September 2006
Joanna (Jo) McCaine has her hands full running her Kansas ranch. Sure she's capable--even dresses like a man--but her hands keep quitting on her and the neighbors have been known to steal her cattle. She's planning on fencing in her spread, but for that she needs help--and there's only one man in town who'd be willing to take the job. The one man she really doesn't want anywhere near her--or near the sister she's done everything she could to protect. If Jo is the family tomboy, Carrie is te beauty. Every man falls for her, and considering that Levi Travers grew up in a whorehouse, he's likely to do more than fall. That he walked away after leaving another woman pregnant makes him that much worse of a skunk.
Levi Travers is on his way to San Francisco. Still, it's hard to walk away from the kind of money that Jo McCaine is offering, and waiting a few more months isn't that big a deal. He knows he isn't the kind of man for a woman like Jo, but from the moment he first sees her, the attraction is stronger than anything he's felt before--than anything he can resist. Somehow it doesn't matter that Jo is supposed to be the plain sister and Carrie the beauty. It doesn't even matter that Jo's uncle, Mac, thinks Levi is the scum of the earth and attacks him. The only thing that matters is Jo.
Author Laura Drewry (see more BooksForABuck.com reviews of novels by Drewry) spins a charming tale of unlikely lovers. Jo is convinced that she could never hold a man once he sees her sister. Levi is certain that his background and reputation forever bar him from marriage and family. As they work together on the fence, though, the attraction grows between them until neither can stand it.
Drewry makes CHARMING JO stand out from the pack with her quick humor. Neither the characters, nor Drewry takes anything too seriously, providing the reader with plenty of smiles--and giving us the strong sense that although Levi and Jo may be ugly ducklings to the rest of the world, for each other, they are the perfect swan. If you're looking for an enjoyable read and more than a few grins, CHARMING JO is a great choice.
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