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The Fisherman's Daughter


Hard Shell Word Factory (Ebook).
ISBN 1-58200-074-3
Vanessa Paris hurries to her old home on Tawanya Island in Puget Sound when she receives the news that her father has been missing for two days. No one seems to know what happened to veteran fisherman Eldon Paris since he left Kaloch Bay Lodge at the crack of dawn for a day of trawling. 

Only minutes after Vanessa's arrival at the lodge, the Coast Guard appears with more bad news. They discovered Eldon's boat idling in a nearby bay, autopilot on, galley fully stocked. But no Eldon. Even more worrying, the Coast Guard found two half-full bottles of heart medication on the galley table. Where is Eldon and can he survive without his very vital medication? 

Enter Lowell Maxwell, Los Angeles police detective and former schoolmate of Vanessa's deceased brother. Once Vanessa longed for Lowell to notice her. Now she needs Lowell's help to find her father. Will Vanessa and Lowell find Eldon in time? Will Vanessa overcome her fear of loss and accept the attraction that flares every time she and Lowell touch? 

The mystery surrounding Vanessa's father's disappearance was nicely done. Author Voell set up why and whodunits very neatly. Suspense, tension, and then resolution followed each other right on cue. But Vanessa's and Lowell's internal agonizing over whether to love each other or not irritated me intensely. I wanted to shout, "Quit whining! You know you want each other, get on with it already!" 

I know, I know, romance conventions require that the resolution of the romance take precedence over the solution of the mystery. As a result, the romantic climax must wait until the very end of the book. But to pull it off, the characters need emotional or physical conflicts even stronger than the genre's conventions. 

Teri Dohmen

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