cover image On the Sweet Side

On the Sweet Side

Audrey Carlan. HQN, $16.99 trade paper (352p) ISBN 978-1-335-91639-6

Carlan’s sentimental final Wish romance (after To Catch a Dream) will please series fans yearning for reunions with the couples from previous installments, but is unlikely to inspire new readers. Freshly returned from a culinary program in Europe, BFF pastry chefs Isabeau Collins and Jasper Prince plan to live and work in Chicago. But plans change when Izzy learns from her two fathers that her mother, who she’d always been told was a surrogate, was actually more involved—leading her to an unexpected inheritance, two half-sisters, and a grandfather in Colorado. Izzy and Jasper take advantage of the money by moving to Pueblo, where Izzy gets to know her new family while she and Jasper open their dream bakery. There, she meets attractive contractor Kyson, whose rather mild secret—that he has a young daughter—drives the will-they/won’t-they tension for a while. The couple’s connection is hurried, with Carlan doing far more telling than showing when it comes to their chemistry, and Kyson’s daughter’s eagerness to embrace Izzy feels convenient. Still, scene-stealer Jasper lightens things up, and returning readers will be happy to check in with Izzy’s sisters. It’s not perfect, but for diehard fans it’ll do the trick. Agent: Amy Tannenbaum, Jane Rotrosen Agency. (Jan.)