Rainey Mitchell leads a hectic life. She’s divorced and raising her daughter on her own, while hounding her ex-husband for child support. She’s working full-time in speech therapy at Blue Ridge University. She helps manage an outreach clinic for troubled teens and others needed special attention, and funding cuts loom for the college and the clinic. And the former husband of a client is harassing Rainey and making threats of bodily harm.
The last thing she needs is romance. And especially romance in the form of Dr. Alexander Murdock, the charming and flirtatious new professor who drives a red Mercedes and obviously thinks he’s god’s gift to women.
For his part, Alex Murdock maintains a tough, outward façade. His father considers him a failure for teaching instead of working the family business. His sister and niece are in a witness protection program, and only Alex knows they not dead, as everyone else has been led to believe. He’s trying to find his inner hero, and all he’s seems to manage finding is his inner flirt. And then he meets Rainey Mitchell and her daughter Sarah.
Sparks fly. Misunderstandings ensue. And two broken people gradually come to discover each other and themselves.
Charming the Troublemaker by Pepper Basham is the second book in her Mitchell Crossroads series. The story includes many of the same characters from the first book, Twist of Faith (Alex and Rainey were minor characters in that story) and the same settings of town, university, and the Mitchell farms. Once again, the Mitchell clan matriarch will play a pivotal role in helping a boneheaded child see what’s really happening in their love life.
Basham is the author of numerous historical and contemporary romance novels, novellas, and stories. Second Impressions is one of two novellas by Basham involving the work of Jane Austen, the second being Jane by the Book. Basham and her family live in Asheville, North Carolina.
Charming the Troublemaker is an enjoyable read. Yes, we suspect we know how the story will turn out, but the fun is seeing how the characters get there.