Nov 28 2006
Dear Ms Archer,
The back blurb for this Harlequin Next book was a little confusing. Something about grown children and empty nest syndrome and being in Hell. Well, that’s a lot of the story but not quite all.
Dana Logan can’t imagine where all the years went. One day her children were young and suddenly she and her husband are dropping their youngest off to start college. Dana heads back home to discover that there’s nothing to fill her days but worrying about her daughter’s impulsive elopement and if her son is getting to his classes on time. Pretty soon she’s reduced to following the antics of the backyard squirrels and playing bridge with women she’s never liked. When a call to her son reveals he’s sick and needs to her finagle an extension for a test, she doesn’t stop to think before heading out to drive to his rescue.
Only Troy never meant for his mother to show up in his dorm room and Dana leaves just as quickly after they fight. Now she’s driving home, late at night, through gathering snow until a detour sends her in the direction of Hellen, CO where her car is stolen and she ends up in jail. Well, she wasn’t arrested, it’s just that there’s no hotel in this small, dying town. The next morning, Dana starts to learn about the unlikely place she’s ended up and discovers that there just might be people besides her family who could use her help to pull themselves back from the brink and maybe by staying there, her family might learn to do for themselves instead of always relying on her.
I enjoyed watching Dana discover her talents and move beyond depending on her family and allowing them to over depend on her. The town of Hellen is maybe a touch too heartwarmingly filled with appealing characters who only need a little boost to find their inner strength. And perhaps things get wound up a bit too easily and quickly a la a movie of the week. But “Off Her Rocker” is a nice change from revenge plots, and erotica and vampires. You manage to make the plot move along without resorting to outlandish characters, bizarre behavior or too hackneyed a plot. B- for this one.