Miss Independent
By Chrissy Dionne
Feb 5, 2007 - 4:54:00 PM

Amanda’s three marriages and a near-miss have prompted her into admitting to herself that maybe marriage just isn’t for her. To give herself a fresh start, she moves away from her family, buys a fixer-upper cottage, and gets a job waiting tables while she puts herself through college. Unfortunately, she doesn’t know a whole lot about fixing the repairs needed on her new home and her neighbor is proving too tempting to adhere to her strict no men policy.

Joe Baker is Amanda’s neighbor and owns his own contracting company. He’s got a knight in shining armor complex and can never resist a woman in need of help. It’s obvious to him that Amanda is definitely in way over her head with the old cottage but she refuses to accept his help. All he can do is sit back and watch as she stubbornly tries to take care of everything on her own. Joe can’t help but be captivated by her but she’s made it obvious she has no interest in him or his help.

Amanda fully intends to prove to herself as well as everyone else that she is capable of living alone and taking care of herself. Years of being coddled by her family and her marriages haven’t prepared her for all the hard work or pleasure that goes into owning and fixing up her own home. The first time she meets her neighbor Joe he lets her know that he’d be willing to lend a helping hand any time that she needs it, and mentions that if she’d ever like to have coffee or something but stops himself before he finishes the invitation. Amanda takes his neighborly offer as an insinuation that she’s incapable of fixing the place up herself. She could kick herself for even considering the almost invitation. Didn’t she learn anything from past experience? Apparently not because she can’t seem to keep her mind off her hunky neighbor and watches him every chance she gets.

She’s not interested in marrying again or any other sort of long-term commitment. Joe’s willing to settle for a casual relationship - for now. He wants Amanda in his life permanently and he’s willing to do whatever he has to in order to prove it to her.

MISS INDEPENDENT captured my attention from the moment I read the title and held it all the way through the story. Amanda’s stubborn pride endeared her to me. I loved that she remained steadfast about her independence even though it would have been so much easier to give in and let Joe take care of everything for her. Joe and Amanda develop a playful friendship that sparks with the heat between them, it was just a matter of time before they’d ignite. Elisa Adams incorporates some kick butt exciting scenes into this storyline that I absolutely loved, especially the confrontation between Amanda and Joe’s old girlfriend. This is a delightful story which I highly recommend.

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