Here’s the blurb:

Mandy Steenburg thinks her doctorate in education has prepared her to run any school district – until she tangles with the moonshine-making, coon-dog-owning denizens of a tiny district in Pacific Northwest timber country. She’s determined to make a difference, but the local populace still looks to the former superintendent for leadership. When Mandy lands in the middle of an old feud and someone keeps trying to kill her, instinct tells her to run. And though she has to literally swim through perilous waters, she finds a reason to stay and chance the odds.

At first I thought, hmm. A romance? Not usually my thing. The main character is a school district superintendent? Sounds hard to form a connection.

But, I really liked this book. The writing is skillful. I admit, I’m a grammar snob, and adverbs and point-of-view shifts get my knickers in a bunch. None of that stuff here. I was left to enjoy the unfolding of the story without such distractions.

I’m from Washington state, so I immediately loved the setting. I never met any moonshiners during my years in the Northwest, but things felt realistic and believable.

Although some plot points felt predictable, there were still enough surprises to keep me happy. Plus, it’s squeaky-clean enough to buy for anyone without fear.

One thing that bugged me: the main character gets teased/bullied by the students she’s put in charge of, since they preferred the previous superintendent. I sort of scratched my head at that, because as a kid I had zero interaction with the district superintendent. I wasn’t aware of that layer of administration at all. I checked with my high school daughter, and she agreed. Perhaps in a small district, in a super small town atmosphere, this sort of thing could happen. Still, it stopped me.

I recommend this to anyone who likes a clean romantic suspense full of great descriptions and interesting locale.