cover image Beach House No. 9

Beach House No. 9

Christie Ridgway. HQN, $7.99 mass market (384p) ISBN 978-0-373-77740-2

Prolific author Ridgway (Can't Hurry Love) begins a new series with a beach-worthy seaside contemporary. After editor Jane Pearson makes a professional and personal break with a bestselling author, she's determined to succeed with her next client. War journalist and boozehound Griffin Lowell thinks he doesn't need a book doctor for his memoir, but his agent disagrees and hires Jane, who packs up and moves to the beach house next door to Griffin. He impudently invites his unhappy sister and her children to move in with her, prompting "Governess Jane" to relocate to his place. Though Griffin thinks Jane's a pest and she's disgusted by his tantrums, they're overwhelmed by mutual lust. This conventional tale is elevated by realistic details of Griffin's post-traumatic stress and flashbacks, an adorable retro beach setting, and intriguing supporting characters with a heart-wrenching troubled marriage subplot concerning Griffin's sister. Agents: Andrea Cirillo and Christina Hogrebe, the Jane Rotrosen Agency. (Feb.)