It's no secret that I am a bit of a fan of Lori Foster. Not only is she one of my favorite authors, she's also a wonderful lady in person - sweet, friendly and always making sure everyone is having a good time. If you ever get the chance to meet her, I promise you will not be disappointed, because no matter how shy you are, she will make you feel welcome. This ability is obvious in her stories as well.
This time around, she's outdone herself with her latest release, "Murphy's Law". (Click here for an excerpt). One of the things I admire most about Lori's writing is how she really stays true to herself and to her values, despite which trends are hot and popular these days. You will always find a story strong on family - whether in the traditional sense or a more unconventional dynamic - and the importance of honesty, loyalty, and the preciousness of children. Lori weaves these beliefs into "Murphy's Law" with a deft hand, and she will have you blinking back tears as she tugs at your heartstrings, then cheering as you watch her characters fall in love. There are sweet moments of humor and still others that will have you laughing out loud.
"Murphy's Law" follows Lori's previous release "Jude's Law", and readers will be thrilled to re-visit favorite characters from that book in her latest release. Quinton Murphy has been intrigued by fiercely independent Ashley Miles from the very beginning, but she won't give him the time of day. It isn't until they share a fireworks kind of a kiss that he realizes the attraction goes both ways, but the frustrating Miss Miles still refuses to act on those feelings with him. In fact if Quinton wasn't so self-confident, Ashley would deflate his ego like a balloon. He's never known a woman who is not impressed by what he has, and having to work so hard just to go out on a date with this maddening woman frustrates him, but it also gets his attention in a big way.
Ashley has not had an easy life, but you won't find her crying about what she doesn't have. No, this woman has goals, and she's not afraid of a little hard work, or lack of sleep, in order to make them happen. After all, God granted her with plenty of energy and determination, and blessed her with May, the best friend Ashley could ever have imagined. Now her attraction to Murphy, as well as a persistent danger, threaten to wreck all of her carefully laid plans. But sometimes fate has other ideas, and sometimes those new plans are exactly what you need....
I have to say that I think Ashley is one of my favorite Foster heroines, right up there with Cyn. What I love most about her is that she's unapologetic about who she is. Determined to make it on her own, Ashley really gets her dander up when Quinton tries to coddle her, but is intelligent to know when she needs to assistance. She has pride and stubbornness, but not stupidity, thank God: many a heroine have been ruined by the "too stupid too live" complex, yet fortunately Ashley is not one of them. She knows it's not a sign of weakness to ask for help when there are no other realistic options, and she's mature enough to do just that. And she doesn't soften up with just a few flattering words from Quinton either. If he wants to be with her, he has to take her as she is, and if he has a problem with that, well, tough. Then he's going to have to deal with it, not her.
Quinton is the perfect complement to our prickly heroine: strong, self-assured, with an old-fashioned work ethic and an abiding love for children that endears him to his lady. Murphy may have grown up with all the privileges Ashley was forced to do without, but he does not believe he is entitled to a free ride. Instead he gives back, again and again, and there is no greater joy than in helping others reach their full potential. The lovely and fascinating Ashley does not fall right into his arms, which intrigues him, but it's her own work ethic and generous heart that has him falling head over heels in love. Life will never be boring with his little endearing tyrant -and Murphy just has to convince Ashley of this, which he will do with pleasure.
The exchanges between the two are amusing and invigorating, and Ms. Foster has a way of writing hot love scenes that are lush, romantic, and sexy in the way they enfold, yet not too explicit or overpowering for the story. Physical intimacy between two consenting and mature adults is something to be embraced, not something to be embarrassed about and certainly not anything to be ashamed of, and in a Foster story that is exactly what you can expect: earthy, passionate scenes that show how being responsible and considerate of your partner can be very sexy and fulfilling. Turn up those fans, readers!
So another gold star for you, Lori, for writing this touching story from the heart. It sure touched mine, and as always, I eagerly await that next story...