cover image On Lavender Lane

On Lavender Lane

JoAnn Ross. Signet Eclipse, $7.99 mass market (400p) ISBN 978-0-451-23543-5

This tear-jerking tale of a commitment-shy professional cook learning to love a former Navy SEAL in idyllic rural Oregon, the third in Ross’s Shelter Bay series (after One Summer and The Homecoming), may ring familiar bells for readers of Christina Skye’s A Home by the Sea, but Ross’s concern with social issues like spousal abuse and post-traumatic stress broadens this savory romance into more substantial literary fare. Madeline Durand is a dedicated hands-on devotee of organic food and down-home recipes produced with passion and soul. As a teenager, Maddy had an awful falling-out with delectably hunky Lucas Chaffee, but when the two reconnect as adults, his determination to marry her gradually gets her off the treadmill she’d been on and into a knee-weakening burst of lust. The busybodies of Shelter Bay are more than happy to support the two as they slowly make their way toward happiness. Agent: Writers House. (Jan.)