Willow Brook Road

Sherryl Woods. Mira, $8.99 mass market (384p) ISBN 978-0-7783-1766-1

Woods’s 12th Chesapeake Shores contemporary (after Dogwood Hill) is sweet and comforting. Now that Carrie Winters’s glamorous career and famous boyfriend are firmly in the past, she’s happy to be back together with her family in their small town on the Mid-Atlantic coast, even if she’s butting heads with her nosy grandfather and dealing with well-intentioned but gossipy relatives. To keep busy, she helps out by babysitting her little nephew, a task she loves. When her cousin Luke suggests she open a day care center, she takes the idea to heart. Carrie’s plan to stay away from men hits a glitch when she meets Sam, a good-looking newcomer to Chesapeake Shores who has suddenly become guardian to his nephew. As Carrie and Sam slowly get to know one another, sparks fly, but their individual insecurities take a toll on their relationship. The romance could use a bit more steam, but a nice array of secondary characters, including Carrie’s troubled aunt Susie and her prying grandfather Mick, keeps this pleasant plot going. (Oct.)