cover image Wish You Were Here

Wish You Were Here

Christie Ridgway. Avon Books, $7.99 (384pp) ISBN 978-0-380-81255-4

A blind astronaut and a 27-year-old virgin come together in this sweet but steamy romance set on a beautiful California island. Sexy Yeager Gates is slated to pilot the career-capping Millennium project when a freak accident throws his life off track. He's not only temporarily blinded, but impotent, too. Idyllic Abrigo Island offers the R&R he needs, and the diminutive, energetic form of innkeeper Zoe Cash will speed his healing. Zoe's bed-and-breakfast, Haven House, draws tourists visiting Abrigo's annual Firetail Festival, which celebrates the rare fish that keeps the island economy afloat. Romantic tension builds between the two as they await the firetail migration. Ridgway's smart, peppy style is reminiscent of Jennifer Crusie, but her vulnerable, tough-outside/marshmallow-inside heroine stands on her own. There's a smattering of graphic language, but Ridgway (Big Bad Dad) never gratuitously offends. And a secondary plot involving Zoe's sister, a leukemia survivor, and Yeager's middle-age, cynical friend provides an effective counterpoint to the main love story, making this novel a charmer. (Feb.)