Secretive Stranger (New Man in Town)

It's not enough that Sophie Campbell discovers her neighbor's body. His dead ringer has to show up at her doorstep. But this man's no ghost…the instant attraction that sparks between them is all too real.

College professor Cord Pruitt wants answers about his brother's murder. The woman downstairs must have seen something. But when Cord lays eyes on Sophie, all he wants to do is take her in his arms and protect her. With a killer on the loose, and all signs pointing toward Sophie as the next target, that's just what he will have to do…

Not sure what happened exactly, but Cord had me in the palm of his hand from the very beginning. I don't know if it was the college professor thing... or the talk of his explorations... which was mild at best... but it was something. Definitely something.

Cord was inches away from her at that second. Inches away from that smile, those silly glasses. Inches away from the woman who'd been confounding him from the moment he met her. From the very beginning, he was uncertain whether she was saint or sinner... angel or thief... a truly fascinating woman or a manipulative sociopath.

What I wouldn't give to conjure the same questions about myself. Hell, I'm just gonna throw that little piece of somethin'-somethin' into my profile.

I took this one nice and slow. A chapter here, chapter there. It was slow building, but I didn't mind it all that much. Two characters, both cut off from the world around them. Both suffering from a single painful time in their pasts. Both instantly caught in a gravitational pull to one another. Learning to trust again. Or, in some ways, for the first time.

Sophie hides herself, fearful of feeling abandoned. Cord has shut down. His world has fallen apart little by little over his lifetime, and he has come to expect little else in life. They're basically the same person. Each wanting so much from the other, but equally afraid of asking, and expecting, it. Their emotions, thoughts, and actions, were often mirrored. Something I found to be very purposeful on the part of the writer.
Her lips parted once, then twice. "I didn't think anyone would find me," she said hoarsely.
"I'd always find you," he said quickly, correcting her. "Come here, baby."
"I'm okay."
She was okay all right. Like someone who'd been hit by a bus was okay.
"We'll go at this slow," he murmured.
Since she seemed to be having trouble moving, he did the obvious, crawled in there with her. He ducked through the clothes, through the shoes and bags and girl debris on the closet floor, and then just pulled her into him, onto him. He sat there in that stupid closet, with her clothes dancing around his head and her shoes kicking him in the spine.

I want a man to crawl into a closet with me. How random is that sentence?

Too cute. After that scene, a freaked out Sophie blurted out all she wanted was her sister. Needed her sister. Needed to feel safe. Fold that little note into a crisp, white envelope, tie it to an arrow, and shoot it right into poor Cord's rapidly, pounding heart. He was trying to comfort her, but he wasn't enough. So what's a guy to do? Why, call her sister, check the airlines, pay for her flight, and have a car waiting with driver to bring her to Sophie. Yeah, my kind of hero.

He'd been caretaking her as if... as if she were the treasure and he was her personal pirate.

I want a personal pirate.

Just can't hate a book that ends with a ring on her finger.


Anonymous said...

uhhhhh....i got nuthin'..

Ragan said...

That's okay.

I sorta beat it to death already. =)