cover image Perfect Fit

Perfect Fit

Carly Phillips. Berkeley Sensation, $7.99 mass market (304p) ISBN 978-0-4252-597

Bestseller Phillips's pleasant but rote contemporary romance launches a companion trilogy to her Serendipity series. Mike Marsden, who happily shook off Serendipity's dust for a law-enforcement career in a big city, reluctantly returns to fill in for the ailing police chief, Simon, who also happens to be Mike's adoptive father. Unfortunately, that also means having to work side-by-side with his unforgettable onetime lover, Officer Cara Hartley. After some chemistry-laden encounters, Cara and Mike agree to a no-strings affair that unsurprisingly leaves them both wanting more but afraid to commit. When Cara ends up investigating a 30-year-old cold case that involves Mike's long-absent biological father, they work together to uncover old family secrets, bumping down the road to their happy ending. Fans will enjoy following up on familiar characters, and there is power to the dramatic domestic violence subplot, but formulaic relationships and a clunky third-person narrative style weigh down an amiable but unexceptional story. Agents: Kimberly Witherspoon and David Forrer, InkWell Management. (Jan.)