A Different Light - Mariah Stewart (Contemporary Romance)
Released January 2010
Technically, A Different Light is not new. The story's first release date was in 1995. However, Mariah Stewart pulled it out, fleshed out some scenes and reissued it for readers who may have missed it the first time around.
After the tragic death of her husband, a police officer killed in the line of duty, Athena Moran becomes a virtual recluse. She sees how the other officers' wives look at her as they think "that could have been my husband." The loss of her husband forever changed Athena's life and the only thing keeping her going is her pre-teen daughter who's also hurting.
When the mayor offers Athena a job as his assistant, she's hesitant to accept, but he's a family friend and deep down she knows it's time to get back on her feet. In a whirlwind of activity, she's not only his assistant, but he's urging her to run for mayor when his term is up. She can't figure out why. Soon she's elected and is first happy to have the former mayor advising her at every turn, but then she starts to question his decisions and finds herself surrounded by enemies who won't do a thing she demands.
Reporter Quentin Forbes is shocked to learn the woman he's been admiring and trying to forge a friendship with is running for the mayor's seat. He knows the previous mayor was up to no good and figures Athena's in on it. What was starting out as a good friendship soon turns into an all out war as he battles Athena at every turn and Athena tries to figure out what's really going on.
A Different Light features a heroine who at first seemed so naive that I didn't think I could ever like her. When she does come out swinging, you can't help but cheer for her.
As the chemistry between Athena and Quentin builds, the romance becomes a delightful aspect of the story. Some of those cherished sweep-you-off-your-feet moments blend into the action as Athena tries to turn a city council and city itself around.
Those who know my reading habits know I love stories that have multiple layers, but for this to work, those multiple layers must intertwine seamlessly. Mariah Stewart does a great job making sure everything melds while still keeping the spark between the characters alive.