cover image Moonshell Beach

Moonshell Beach

JoAnn Ross. Signet, $7.99 mass market (352p) ISBN 978-0-451-23738-5

J.T. Douchett, a Marine officer and emotionally wounded warrior haunted by too many months of notifying relatives of fellow Marines’ deaths, enthralls lusty Irish movie star and screenwriter Mary Joyce in Ross’s scorching fourth romance set in Shelter Bay, Ore. (after On Lavender Lane). Ross gradually builds up the sexual tension between her characters with convincing tact in a comfortingly idyllic milieu where nearly everyone else is in love. When Mary agrees to be a guest at Shelter Bay’s first film festival and Douchett becomes her reluctant bodyguard, he finds her “really, really hot,” but despite those predictable erotic sparks, he maintains his self-imposed celibacy until Mary’s Celtic allure and her stories of inhibition-shedding selkies break through his depression and resolve. Ross satisfyingly fleshes out their mating dance with secondary characters familiar from her earlier books and tantalizing glimpses of stories to be told in future installments. Agent: Robin Rue, Writers House. (July)