From Publishers Weekly
Star-crossed lovers have a tough time of it in Siplin's wooden third novel. When rough-hewn smalltown Pennsylvania contractor Caleb Atwood sees an African-American woman who appears to have been beaten, he buys her some medical supplies and drops her off at a local inn. She returns the favor when she comes across him in a bar parking lot, his nose bloodied. As it turns out, she's a Harley-riding paparazzi named Jimi on her way to New York from L.A. (her injuries are the result of a run-in with a motorcycle thief), and Caleb's bloody nose leads to a love affair, much to the dismay of a few of Caleb's friends. As Caleb and Jimi's relationship becomes serious, Caleb's brother, freshly released from jail, turns up in town and brings plenty of trouble with him. Unfortunately, the characters are deeply stereotypical, and the plot twists are predictable and contrived. (May)
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Both outsiders in their own way, both badly bruised—literally and figuratively—Caleb Atwood and Jimi Hamilton meet in a rural New York town. He lives in the next town over and is there for lunch to momentarily escape the people who’ve known him, and his problems, all his life. She is there after an accident and the theft of the motorcycle she’d ridden across country from L.A. A young black woman originally from Brooklyn, now making a living as a paparazza, Jimi is unhinged by her latest triumph. Caleb is a local white man, a contractor, just getting over the fact that his wife has left him for good. The tentative relationship between Jimi and Caleb blossoms as they discover what they have in common—a love of motorcycle riding, the freedom it represents, and a relentless feeling of not belonging anywhere. Will her upper-class brother accept Caleb? Will his working-class friends accept Jimi? As the relationship develops, secrets unfold and race and class issues play themselves out in a small town with its own particular dangers. --Vanessa Bush