cover image Secretly Yours

Secretly Yours

Tessa Bailey. Avon, $16.99 trade paper (384p) ISBN 978-0-06-323898-5

A haughty professor and a spirited gardener face off in this raunchy and enchanting rom-com from bestseller Bailey (My Killer Vacation). Small-town St. Helena, Calif., native Hallie Welch struggles to find her footing after her grandmother’s death, toiling for the prestigious gardening business she inherited from her grandmother and drinking at her grandmother’s favorite winery to stay grounded. When the estranged scion of local Vos Vineyards, Julian Vos, now a Stanford professor, returns to his family’s estate, Hallie grapples with an entirely different set of emotions, spurred by the memory of their almost-kiss back in high school. Hallie eagerly offers her services to refurbish the Vos Vineyards’ gardens, determined to reconnect with Julian. For Julian, however, his time at Vos Vineyards is strictly business; he’s there to finish writing his novel without interruption. But as the vibrant, chaotic Hallie enters his life, so too do a series of strange letters from a secret admirer, throwing his meticulous work schedule off course. Bailey delivers a second-chance romance with vigor and passion, despite the characters falling a bit too neatly and exaggeratedly into a familiar grumpy/sunshine dichotomy. The witty banter and gripping tension will make this a treat for the author’s many fans. Agent: Laura Bradford, Bradford Literary. (Feb.)