Flirting with Disaster by Victoria Dahl

I started this book on a layover on my way home from RWA. My flight from New York to DC went really smoothly; then I had about three hours stuck in the world's smallest terminal & the first one I've seen in a LONG time without a coffee shop.

So I was in a pretty bad mood. I wanted to Be Somewhere Else. Within about five minutes of starting FLIRTING WITH DISASTER, I forgot about the layover.

My plane finally boarded. Boarded... and then sat around for about three hours with the pilot popping onto the intercom now and again to explain the delays. This was a flight that actually only took an hour. So three hours on the tarmac really seemed excessive.

I finished FLIRTING WITH DISASTER right after we finally took off. And I tell you this story because it's one thing to say, "I gobbled up this book" or "It was a fun and engaging read" and another to say, "I had a caffeine headache and a half-tank of rage and for about five hours, it all just melted away."

The heroine is Isabelle, a reclusive artist who's assumed a false identity for her own protection. She lives in an out of the way mountain town, she does all of her work remotely, she keeps her head down and tries to stay out of trouble. She's prickly but exuberant, speaks her mind, not shy at all.

A US Marshall, Tom, ends up working a case that involves Isabelle's next door neighbor. He canvases the area as a matter of due diligence, meeting all the scattered inhabitants and warning them about heightened danger.

He knows that Isabelle isn't connected to the case he's working... but she sets his spidey senses to tingling. Plus, he's attracted to her. He struggles against a conflict of interest. She struggles against her attraction to a man who will surely blow her cover, if he learns much about her.

All their struggles are in vain, disaster ensues, but there's a happy ending. There's some angst, here, a few impulsive decisions, but mostly FLIRTING WITH DISASTER is a book about adults who act like adults. Sometimes, for Isabelle, that means letting loose with her friends & getting drunk. Sometimes, for Tom, that means lying to himself about his motivations and putting his job in danger.

But these are people who know who they are and what they want and roll with the punches. Pretty likable characters, and also pretty steamy.