Coffee Time Romance & More






ISBN# (10)0-06-054333-7/(13)978-0-06-054333-4
April 2007
HarperCollins Publishers
10 East 53rd Street, New York, New York 10022-5299
272 Pages
Rating: 4 Cups

Professor Sally Alder speaks about domestic violence when she speaks on Women’s Rights in her classroom. She wants her students to know that a woman’s right to be secure from bodily abuse should not be taken for granted. Someone in her class is absent, Charlie Preston, and, after a month, Sally worries about her whereabouts.

Josiah Hawk Green lives with Sally. He has brought sunshine into her life for years. He helps Sally search for Charlie, consoling her along the way, especially when they stumble upon a dead body.

Attorney Dave Haggerty is interested in Charlie and her father’s case. He also takes a liking in Sally. His involvement could put a wedge in her relationship with Hawk.

Sally questions if whether her classes really grip her student’s attention or if she is just wasting her time. She is surprised to find Charlie in her office slumped in a chair, battered and bruised. Sally once worked in a shelter and has seen these battered attacks. She wants Charlie to go to the sheriff but Charlie refuses, saying that no one really cares. And her parents, the hypocrites, are out of the question. She tells Sally she will go to a doctor and get help but she needs money. She promises to return in a couple of days. Sally gives her money plus her heavy coat to keep her warm. Two weeks later, and still no word from Charlie, Sally is worried. When Hawk and Sally, discover Charlie’s father, dead in an alley, they frantically search to find Charlie before the police do. Sally does not think that Charlie killed her estranged father, no matter what the police say. Dave is drawn to the case and will help Sally anyway he can. His voice is like Godiva chocolate, but at times she feels he is a rabble-rouser. Sally welcomes his help, rather enjoying the way he gives her the eye. Sally believes somebody wants Charlie dead, and that the murder of Charlie’s father is an attempt to flush her of hiding, allowing the killer to finish the dastardly deed of permanently taking care of Charlie too. It is a race against time, and Sally feels lucky to have Hawk and Dave on her side.

Hello Stranger is the fourth mystery involving Sally, who now tries to help an abused young girl. In this installment, Sally and Hawk’s relationship is put to the test when Dave begins to work closely on the case and feels an attraction toward Sally. Virginia Swift pens an excellent read of interesting characters, which star in a great, creative storyline. The way she writes the tale, I could feel the intensity of everything happening in the story, from the intense cold of the Wyoming weather, to the chase to find the killer. She skillfully crafts a highly charged mystery that kept me guessing until the last page. With an electrifying plot, this story holds its own until the dramatic conclusion.

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