By The Book by N.J. Walters
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
The sixth installment in the Jamesville series, By The Book tells the story of former Army (Special Forces) operative Jonah Sutter, who was introduced in A Legal Affair, and antiquarian and rare books dealer Amanda Barrington, who was introduced in The Seduction of Shamus O'Rourke.
After the death of her elderly mentor and grandfather figure Seymour Morton, who'd unexpectedly made her the beneficiary of his entire estate, Amanda Barrington has packed her old life in Vermont and moved to Jamesville, ready to start a new chapter in her life. Having spent most of her formative years being shuffled from foster home to foster home, Seymour was the only family Amanda has ever known. Now that he's gone and she's alone again, she feels a change of scenery is due and Jamesville, where her friend Cyndi (the heroine in The Seduction of Shamus O'Rourke) lives, is the place to start anew. She's barely moved into her new home when a tall, dark and handsome man comes knocking on her door... Oh yes, moving to Jamesville was the best move she's ever made, all right!
The man on Amanda's doorstep is Jonah Sutter, an ex-military man who was born in Jamesville but has only been back to his hometown a few months ago, after dedicating the last fifteen years to the Army. He's instantly attracted to Amanda, but he doesn't do relationships and doesn't want anything permanent. He knows she's a forever kind of woman, and therefore "dangerous" to his bachelor ways, but that doesn't stop him from trying to convince her to have a temporary affair with him. At first, Amanda is wary of getting involved with Jonah, because she isn't sure her heart can survive an affair with him, but when she's almost killed in an attempted robbery of her newly opened bookstore, she realizes life is too short and decides to give in to her attraction to Jonah and enjoy their affair for as long as it lasts. But will this be enough for her? Will she be able to prevent her heart from breaking when their affair ends? For she's sure it will end eventually. Won't it?
After being somewhat disappointed with the previous book, A Legal Affair, I'm happy to say that this series is back on track with By The Book. Jonah and Amanda were very likable, and their falling in love was believable. Their loves scenes were hot and, thankfully, not kinky at all. Sometimes sweet and classic vanilla is all I want... ;)
The story was fast paced and entertaining, but the mystery/suspense regarding who attacked Amanda was very simplistic. It was pretty obvious who the "perp" was and his actions didn't make much sense, but since that wasn't really the main focus of the story, I let it go.
All in all, this was a very enjoyable and easy read. I really like the "feel good" atmosphere that's part of the Jamesville series, and these books have become comfort reads to me. Well done again, Ms. Walters! :)
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