Reviewer: Lori Graham
Title: Midnight with Maverick
Author: Karen Hudgins
Publisher: Wings ePress, Inc.
Release Date: March 2004
Genre/Sub-genre: Contemporary Romance
Year/Setting: Current, Florida/Missouri
Overall rating: 4.75
Sexual content rating: Subtle
Karen's Website: www.karenhudgins.com
Carol Sue Morgan is following her dream of becoming a pastry chef. She has attended the schooling and now has a place of her own in her hometown. The only problem is it is an old pizza restaurant and the equipment is pretty outdated. Getting the business up and running is made much more difficult when you have to re-level every cake coming out of the old pizza oven. In spite of this obstacle, Carol Sue lovingly creates unique one of a kind sensations.
Matt Granger lives in a more "realistic" world as the heir apparent to the copper industry and company run by his family. While his father is supposed to be retiring, he certainly keeps his hand in and ready. Their competition is getting to the point of sabotage and it is getting ugly. Matt’s father wants it solved now. Matt comes up with a plan but he needs an assistant and is willing to pay handsomely. Enter Carol Sue delivering a cake to Matt’s secretary. Their competitor loves pretty woman and sweets (not necessarily in that order) and the plan begins. How are Matt and Carol Sue to know their own families also have a history? So while putting the plan in motion, they also have to work with their families to solve this old riddle as well.
To add additional fun to the mix, Carol Sue’s best friend and cousin is hit by a drunk driver, who leaves the scene, putting Lynn in intensive care. Matt begins to wonder if he might know who hit her and whether or not he should do something.
Author Karen Hudgins creates several sub-plots in Midnight with Maverick including the very first time Carol Sue and Matt meet (I’ll give you a hint – it wasn’t when she delivered the cake). Many of the sub-plots could have been expanded into their own stories with greater detail but Karen resists the temptation and creates just enough to accent the main plot but yet create some depth to the supporting characters. She weaves in a bit of mystery to create some reality and puts in a healthy dose of humor to keep you guessing.
I like the small community effect in the story. It reminds me of simple times and peace but yet doesn’t create the effect through naivety. The characters are genuine and believeable although I am not quite sure what brought Matt to Picardy Heights to set up a second office for their copper business. I enjoy Karen’s use of words to create the scenes thereby making it easy to "see" the story in my mind. One thing I do wish is that I had Carol Sue’s talent for creating beautifully decorated cakes. I can achieve level cakes but beautiful decorating…well, let’s just say I have a ways to go on that one.
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