Saturday, August 20, 2011

Wasted Heart by Lynn Galli

Publisher:                 Outskirts Press

Sometimes a girl just can't get a break. You leave your family and friends to start a new life and now someone is trying to kill you.

Austy Nunziata left a good job and a supportive group of friends in Virginia to settle in Seattle. The reason for such a drastic change is that Austy is in love with her best friend Willa and Willa is married to another friend Quinn, so the wisest thing to do to keep herself from making a mistake and getting hurt more was to leave. Unfortunately, Willa, who doesn't realize how Austy feels, is the head of a software company with offices in Seattle, so they still see each other frequently. Austy hopes that by throwing herself into her new job as a district attorney and avoiding Willa that she can get over her feelings.

Her new case would seem to be the distraction she needs. She has been appointed as the lead prosecutor in a major racketeering case and that has brought her in contact with FBI agent Elise Bridie. At first Elise provides expert testimony in the case, but when someone mugs Austy and threatens to kill her, Elise finds herself acting as a bodyguard. The attack also brings the Virginia "posse" running to Seattle to provide support, protection and a shove in the right direction for Austy to capitalize on her relationship with Elise. Austy isn't sure which is the greatest problem - the meddling by her friends, her uncertain relationship with Elise or the fact that someone is trying to kill her. What Austy does know is that she needs to get control of her life and make a decision. Does she stay in Seattle, build a new life and possibly a relationship with Elise and maybe end up dead, or does she return to the nurturing environment that her friends offer in Virginia and live with the pain of seeing Willa every day knowing that she can't have her?

Wasted Heart is an entertaining book, but not really because of the lead characters. Austy and Elise tell a pretty standard story for lesfic. It's the supporting cast that adds the charm. Austy's Virginia friends are quite a group - Willa, who everyone loves because of her generosity and genuine concern for her friends; Quinn, Willa's partner and an ex-professional athlete who would protect Austy from any harm; Lauren, Austy's longest and best friend who is insistent that Austy return to Virginia to become her law partner; and Jessie, a true woman-chaser, but the staunchest friend anyone could hope for who is the only one who truly sees what is in Austy's heart. There is a humorous scene when Austy comes into court to confront the criminal who is trying to have her killed and she can hardly walk for the protective ring her friends have formed around her. And what a bunch of matchmakers when they realize Austy is interested in Elise. These and similar characters in Wasted Heart make it an enjoyable read.

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