Thursday, October 22, 2020
Take the Lead -- Shelley Shepard Gray
September 8, 2020
Bridgeport, Ohio – the Present
Officer Traci Lucky left Cleveland, where she worked as a police officer, to move to the small town of Bridgeport to spend a year living with two sisters she never knew she had. Her sister Shannon found them through a DNA test. Traci grew up in foster care. While she eventually landed in a good group home, she had many bad experiences in foster care. In Bridgeport, she got a job with the local police force and has now partnered with her sister Shannon’s new husband, Dylan Lange (series book 1 SHALL WE DANCE). Today during a raid on a suspected meth house, Traci finds an emaciated girl and takes her to the local hospital. There, Doctor Matt Rossi learns the girl, Gwen, is pregnant and still under the effects of drugs. Traci believes Gwen is another person who feels abandoned like she once felt. Rossi keeps Gwen in the hospital. His actions and approach to his patient impress Traci, and she feels a strong attraction to him.
Matt (Matteo) Rossi is happy to work in a small town where he gets to know his patients, and it is where his family lives. This makes his life meaningful. While treating Gwen, he can’t help but be attracted to the woman officer who brought his patient in. She is authoritative, independent, and compelling, but also caring, and unlike any woman he has known. With her visits to Gwen bringing her to the hospital daily, he tries to talk to her more frequently. Then his brother makes a demand that allows him to get to know Traci better. His brother Anthony demands his younger brother Matt dance a waltz at his upcoming wedding reception. Matt doesn’t dance, but Traci’s sister teaches dancing, and he knows the perfect partner to ask.
Traci hasn’t shared much of her past life with her new-found sisters. She has come to love them, but she still feels reluctant to disclose her past. She feels the same with Matt once they grow closer. While this causes emotional turmoil in the story, so does Gwen’s situation. Her ex-boyfriend trouble-maker Hunter doesn’t love her or want their baby but feels he owns her and is going to get her back. The story’s themes of family and building protective, loving relationships, even when unexpected events cause turmoil, makes this a captivating read.