Star Light, Star Bright by Iris Johansen
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
How does Ms. Johansen come up with these quirky characters and unusual story ideas? Gunner is something else. A daredevil who assumes risk as part of his job with the Clanad. He takes care of little Andrew, who went through a traumatic event that caused him to segment his personality, an action that could prove very dangerous for a powerful telepath like this boy. Part of his plan is to hire a nanny to help watch out for Andrew as they spend time at Andrew's mother's cottage with a man who could help in Andrew's therapy. Steven is a grown man who has an extremely low IQ and needs help being functional in society. Gunner believes that Andrew will gravitate towards Steven, and this will help him heal from his own mental trauma.
Quenby is a very conventional woman who has dedicated herself to caring for children as a highly trained nanny. She takes the job to care for Andrew, having no idea what kind of crazy scenario she will involve herself with. She falls in love with Andrew, and ends up falling in love with the risk-taker Gunner.
Gunner believes in the concept of fated mates, and knows that Quenby is his. He hits the ground running in his pursuit of Quenby, proving to be a tough man to resist for the lonely Quenby, who was betrayed in love once, and has kept herself from getting involved since then. Gunner loves everything about Quenby, and is determined to show her that they belong together. He believes he's a freak because of his psychic gifts, and has a savior complex, because he wasn't there to protect his family when they were massacred by the soldiers that invaded and absorbed his small native country. Since then, he's put himself at risk again and again on behalf of his adopted family, the Clanad, a group of psychic people who've settled in Sedikhan.
Quenby doesn't like Gunner's tendency to put himself in danger. She wants to protect him and keep him safe. She's cautious about their courtship, but definitely feels the strong attraction between them.
Star Light, Star Bright has Ms. Johansen's characteristic sensuality and compelling romance. The story of Andrew and Steven's healing process is poignant, as well as Gunner's issues with the loss of his family and his inadequacies about his psychic gifts. I found Gunner adorable. I could see why Quenby couldn't resist him. This was a good story, but I liked A Tough Man To Tame a little more, since the pace was a little faster in that book. But, it was great to read about Quenby and Gunner's courtship, since they show up as a happily married couple in A Tough Man to Tame. It's been great to get copies of Iris Johansen's oldies. Looking forward to reading more of them.
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