cover image Take My Breath Away

Take My Breath Away

Christie Ridgway. HQN, $7.99 mass market (384p) ISBN 978-0-373-77832-4

Ridgway’s latest contemporary has its moments of poignancy interwoven with a commonplace plot. Poppy Walker is determined to create a special retreat in the mountains, despite skepticism from her brother and sisters. When handsome stranger Ryan offers her five times the regular rate for a ramshackle cabin with a leaking roof, she knows it’s best not to pry. Unbeknownst to Poppy, Ryan Hamilton is a movie star seeking escape from the press. When a sudden storm leaves Poppy’s home unlivable and the mountain road blocked, Ryan invites Poppy into his cabin. After several heated nights, the paparazzi’s discovery of couple forces them to retreat—with her five-year-old son in tow—to Ryan’s mansion. Ryan and Poppy try to stay aloof, but neither can resist indulging in phone sex over the intercom or long, occasionally tiresome, talks about their past. Ryan’s unexpected revelation of the source of his grief undercuts the feeling of emotional growth and connection between the two, even as the unconvincing attempted abduction of Poppy’s son brings about some real sentimental moments. (June)