Anything but Sweet

Candis Terry. Avon, $5.99 mass market (384p) ISBN 978-0-06-223722-4

Designer Charli Brooks travels to small towns for the makeover show My New Town. A Marine brat, she has lived all over the world, and she yearns for a permanent home. Former Marine Reno Wilder, owner of the hardware store in Sweet, Tex., refuses to be drawn into the excitement over the spiffing up of Sweet’s historic Main Street buildings. He doesn’t want change; he’s endured too much already and struggles with grief after the deaths of his oldest brother, his dad, and his fiancée. With no hotel in the tiny town, TV crew members are put up in private homes, and Reno’s mom volunteers an apartment above Reno’s barn for Charli. Cap the close living arrangements with a bet about making over his store, and the two square off with humorous dialogue in clever situations while denying their budding attraction. Terry (the Sugar Shack series) adds interest by describing the show’s progress and the camaraderie of Reno’s surviving brothers. Agent: Jennifer Schober, Spencerhill Associates. (July)