cover image When We Met

When We Met

Susan Mallery. HQN, $8.99 mass market (352p) ISBN 978-0-373-77865-2

Mallery’s heartwarming 13th contemporary set in the fictional town of Fool’s Gold, Calif. (after Three Little Words), is the first of a planned three-book arc built around newcomers to the town. On the outside, clotheshorse Taryn Crawford seems to have it all together: she’s a partner in a successful sports-focused public relations firm that has recently moved to Fool’s Gold, and she seems to have confidence to spare. But Taryn’s designer dresses hide her deepest secret: surviving horrific abuse at the hands of her father has left her unable to trust anyone. Angel Whittaker, a former military man who now works for Fool’s Gold’s security-training academy, still grieves the car accident that claimed the lives of his wife and son. Paired to help lead a group of seven-year-old girls for a local service organization, Taryn and Angel sense the crackling chemistry between them, but they may not be able to set their fears aside and pursue happiness. Deft characterization and an absorbing story line will keep readers coming back. (May)