Double Trouble: Volume 2 (The Coxwells) by Claire Cross
Reading Level: Adult Romance
Release Date: July 11, 2012
Publisher: Deborah A. Cooke
Pages: 388 pages
Reviewed By: Kate McMurry
Maralys O'Reilly is an internet advice columnist who is a loner with no desire to marry or have kids. Then one day her nice, comfortable, "I am an island" lifestyle is totally disrupted. Her nephews Jimmy and Johnny call and tell her that their mother, Maralys's twin sister Marcia, didn't show up to get them up from swim practice. Not long after, the news gets worse, much worse. After Maralys takes the kids home, she finds a note from her sister declaring she's dumped her husband James and her two sons.
James Coxwell is the Number Three criminal attorney in the city, rich, powerful...and on the fast track to oblivion. Not only has his wife dumped him, he's just found out his own father is ousting him from the family firm on behalf of another relative. At age 42, he's all washed up.
Maralys has never considered herself the save-anyone type, but the situation of her brother-and-law and nephews is a mess. Before she knows it, she agrees to move in and help out, and there is no telling where the heck this will all end.
This book is more women's mainstream fiction than typical romance, in that it is written in first person and it violates a major taboo of romance: the book starts out with the hero not only married, but married to the heroine's sister. However, its ending does fulfill normal expectations of romance readers, so if you are a lover of traditional romance, you can rest assured you will be satisfied with how the story comes out.
The plot itself has the sharp, dark-humor tone of two romantic comedy movies I enjoyed a lot, My Best Friend's Wedding and The Truth about Cats and Dogs. The characters are sharply drawn, both protagonists intelligent, strong, and honest, but with the interesting flaws of cynicism in both of them and more than a little despair in James. The two children are also cute and often touching in a believable and enjoyable way.
If you are looking for a contemporary romance that is very much out of the ordinary, Double Trouble might be just the ticket for you.