Tuesday, August 16, 2016
One Plus One Equals Trouble
By Sondra Kraak
Having been jilted by her fiancé, who wed her twin sister instead, Claire left San Francisco for a fresh start as a teacher. While she was supposed to be assigned to a school in Seattle, she instead is sent to teach in remote Pine Creek—and she quickly falls in love with the town. Determined to be a success at something, after feeling like she’s failed in love and at ever measuring up to her sister, Claire is shocked when she finds out her job isn’t as secure as she believed—the school board has hired TWO teachers and she has to battle against Barrett Clarke (who is the nephew of one of the school board members and a former college professor) to see who will ultimately be offered the position. Claire refuses to fail—but so does Barrett, who lost his position teaching at a university after false accusations and came home to teach for a year, after which his uncle will give him land so he can be a rancher—which is what he truly wants to do. Equally determined to win the job, Claire and Barrett each set out to prove their merits—but as they work together, attraction flares, complicating things even further.
I liked the premise of the book. I thought Claire was particularly well-developed, with her straight-laced personality and need for control reflecting her attempts to be perfect and not to fail. Barrett is more light-hearted, but I did sometimes get frustrated with him for constantly teasing Claire; while he was trying to break through her reserve, sometimes I thought he’d be better served by just saying something nice to her. There was a lot of banter between the two, as well as a lot of one-step-forward-two-steps-back type behavior from Claire, who retreated whenever she felt vulnerable. Sometimes that made the plot move a little slowly—it was kinda the same banter over and over. Toward the end, though, things picked up a little. Overall, I enjoyed the book. 3.5 stars