cover image Perfect Together

Perfect Together

Carly Phillips. Berkley, $7.99 mass market (320p) ISBN 978-0-425-25973-3

Philips returns to fictional Serendipity, N.Y., for another pleasant encounter with people who say they aren't looking for permanent relationships, but change their minds when the perfect match appears. Nicole Farnsworth has had enough of being "a pawn" for her wealthy parents in N.Y.C. and wants to make a fresh start in Serendipity. Det. Sam Marsden is a local cop who has everything except the woman of his dreams. Nicole is pursued by her ex-fianc%C3%A9 and threatened by shady figures; Sam has been burnt by an unfaithful lover and now questions his romantic judgment. They renew their acquaintance from Perfect Fling and settle into the pattern that Philips's readers know and love: the lovers learn to trust again, forge a healthy relationship, and regain their self-esteem while being subjected to some mild menace. Characters lack subtlety, and the formulaic story is weighed down by dull writing and forced tension, but the result is an accessible and congenial vacation read. Agent: Kimberly Whalen, Trident Media Group. (Feb.)