AN ACCIDENTAL HERO: Struggling Actress Cammi Carlisle is leading a life of bad luck. When fate throws her and Reid Alexander together, though, things start to look up. Still, Reid harbors a terrible secret that the pregnant Cammi may not be able to forgive...
AN ACCIDENTAL MOM: Any glimpse of Max Sheridan, her long-lost love, has always made Lily London sparkle. Then Max, now a widower, returns to Amarillo with his young son. Max doesn't think the girl he left behind can handle a ready-made family – it's up to Lily to prove him wrong.
Stats for my copy: Mass market paperback, published by Love Inspired Books, 2011; 508 pages; bought at Wal-Mart.
My thoughts: I've only read one previous book by Loree Lough, OUT OF THE SHADOWS, in 2009, before starting this blog. In my journal entry on BookCrossing I wrote:
I finished this last night and got teary eyed a couple of times reading. Not because of the main characters love for one another, or for the hero finding his way back to God, but because of the sub-plot involving a little girl with a heart condition. All in all a pretty standard romance book that really hooked me towards the end.
So when I saw this omnibus some time later at Wal-Mart and recognized the author's name I decided on impulse to buy it. Plus the cover caught my eye with the horses. But then Love Inspired books almost always have beautiful eye-catching covers!
In AN ACCIDENTAL HERO, Cammi is coming home to Amarillo after a brief marriage to a Hollywood stuntman left her a pregnant widow. She is dreading facing her father, who disapproved of her moving to California to try to be an actress, and who does not know she married while she was away.
Reid returned home to Amarillo fairly recently himself. Recovering from a rodeo injury, he came back to the ranch he grew up on when he learned that the man who took him in and raised him as a young boy has ALS.
As Cammi drives into town, she runs a red light and crashes into Reid's truck. What a way to meet someone!
Cammi and Reid have a connection to each other, though neither realizes it at the time. When Reid inadvertently learns who Cammi's father is, he is convinced that once Lamont London tells Cammi who Reid is she will want nothing to do with him. It's kind of hard to go into the plot details any further without giving away too much.
Cammi and Reid are both pretty angst filled and wrapped up in their problematic lives. Both have lost faith, which is a major theme of the story, a little more so than I normally care of, but it also suited the story and the characters withoutu being hit you over the head. I loved Reid. He was often cranky, which, while not necessarily appealing in real life, I do love a cranky hero on paper.
AN ACCIDENTAL MOM picks up several months later, giving us the story of Lily London, Cammi's younger sister. Lily had a huge crush on Max back when she was twelve and he was eighteen. But he married and moved away to Chicago, where he became a successful CPA. Now a widower, he's back in town with his four year old son, Nate, to help run his mother's diner while she recovers from a broken leg.
Lily is sweet enough, but it was hard to believe (for me anyway) that after twelve years she is still pining for Max. She's never married, and didn't appear to have ever even had a real boyfriend. As soon as she sees Max again she is pretty much head over heels again, even though she thinks he never really noticed her back in the day. Well, that's because at eighteen he knew he was too old for her, and being a good guy even then, he did what he thought was right and got out of the way of temptation.
Max and Lily are both appealing characters, but I didn't connect with them as well as with Cammi and (especially) Reid. Max has much more angst than Lily, going back and forth in his head about his feelings for her, and whether or not he should stay in Amarillo or go back to his life in Chicago. When Lily visits him in Chicago, he acted very stupid and naive and I was quite irritated with him. Nate very much wants his father to find a new wife and a mother for him, and he takes an instant liking to Lily. He was a cute kid but thankfully not over the top precocious.
Loree Lough's writing flows smoothly, and she's good with a turn of phrase. One of my favorite lines from the first book:
"Her sigh filtered through the wires, kissing his eardrum.” (pg 50)
I already have the third book in my TBR pile, AN ACCIDENTAL FAMILY, about Cammi and Lily's father, and anticipate enjoying it.