This is part of the "snowbound with a stranger" subgenre (yes, there is one). Some romance novels -- often longer -- have a huge cast including secondary romances. Some romance novels -- generally shorter -- have an incredibly abbreviated cast and basically lock up the couple-to-be until they get their shit together. As one does. In this case, it isn't precisely _snow_, rather an ice storm on a hill in Maine.
DID I MENTION SPOILERS? RUN OR SOMEONE WITH BAD TEETH WILL GET YOU
This is also a romantic suspense novel, which means that in addition to the budding romance, there is someone chasing/attacking/threatening The Good People. Here, it is a couple of meth addicts attempting to rob Lolly. They follow her home and lock her in her room.
The male romantic lead is an MP home to visit his son over the winter holidays. His dad, the local law, has sent him to find Lolly, who is in town to pack up the remaining family belongings (everyone moved -- it's not tragic or anything), out of cell phone coverage and may not be aware of the incoming ice storm. Antics ensue.
Did I mention the shared childhood history in town? She is/was kind of a nerd; he enjoyed tormenting her.
Good things. It was short. It moved along well.
Bad things. Why is it that every ladder in every book has its rungs break at a crucial moment? Why would anyone who lived in Maine be wearing non-weatherproof shoes and anything other than wool socks in December? She spends her time in Portland, but still. He's down in North Carolina for his job, but again, _he grew up here_.
I'm still trying to figure out what I think of the meth addict bad guys. On the one hand, I feel like this indicates that suburbia, or at any rate Northeastern exurbia, has gotten so safe (in a criminal sense, not in a weather sense -- it continues to be treacherous in a weather sense) that authors are stuck using characters like meth addicts just to have _someone_ attack someone to drive the plot forward. On the other hand, I felt like these meth addicts were way too persistent and had too complex thinking/goal orientation to actually be believable. Also, there is sort of this disturbing privilege issue, when you start thinking about who tends to wind up spiraling down into meth, vs. the daughter of (once) rich parents.
This isn't going to make me run right out and read more Linda Howard. On the other hand, this is approximately what I expect from Howard, so it's not likely to make me avoid her any more in the future than I already do. And it enabled me to avoid reading more of _Wild_, which was getting on my Last Nerve.
For those paying attention, once the kids were in bed, I watched Captain America: Winter Soldier. It was really good, just like everyone told me.