cover image Guarded


Mary Behre. Berkley Sensation, $7.99 mass market (320p) ISBN 978-0-425-26862-9

The appealing second Tidewater paranormal romantic suspense (after Spirited) introduces Dr. Shelley Morgan, a veterinarian with an unusual talent—she can talk to the animals like a latter-day Dr. Doolittle. The animals in the small town of Elkridge, Va., have much to relate, including some tales of disappearances at the local private zoo. Shelley passes their tips along to Devin Jones, a detective from the Tidewater Police Department, who also happens to be a hunky friend from her undergraduate years. Devin has his own reasons for catching up with Shelley: he’s been secretly in love with her since college, and he also wants to reunite her with the sister she hasn’t seen for 13 years. The path to romance, however, is beset with many pitfalls and dangers. Replacing the first book’s slapstick with pathos, Behre successfully balances the mystery with the love story. Agent: Jewelann Cone, Cascade Literary Agency. (Aug.)