cover image The Love Shack

The Love Shack

Christie Ridgway. HQN, $7.99 mass market (380p) ISBN 978-0-373-77715-0

The third of Ridgway’s California beach contemporaries (after Bungalow Nights) is a placidly prosaic friends-to-lovers tale. After a harrowing kidnapping in Afghanistan, war photographer Gage Lowell returns to the beach of his childhood for some much-needed relaxation. Gage kept in touch with his friend Skye Alexander but doesn’t know that she developed a crush on him. Skye pushes Gage toward other women until she has a panic attack, reliving memories of a home invasion, and calls Gage, whose protective urges predictably appear. Gage’s tender touch conventionally heals Skye of her physical wariness of men, while Skye stereotypically helps Gage realize he’s ready to settle down. The story will be old hat to romance readers, but fans of the series will enjoy the resolution of running plot threads. Agents: Andrea Cirillo and Christina Hogrebe, the Jane Rotrosen Agency. (Apr.)