cover image PHANTOM WALTZ


Catherine Anderson, . . Onyx, $6.99 (432pp) ISBN 978-0-451-40989-8

Anderson (Baby Love, etc.) departs from traditional romantic stereotypes in this poignant, contemporary tale of a love that transcends all boundaries. Handsome rancher and reputed rake Ryan Kendrick and the beautiful paraplegic Bethany Coulter seem an unlikely couple, but, after one date and a passionate kiss, Ryan can't stop thinking about Bethany. Bethany, on the other hand, has felt the sting of rejection far too often, and she's unwilling to become involved—especially with a man who has a reputation. Once the two finally do come together, their lovemaking becomes the focus of the book. The lengthy scenes detailed here are hardly gratuitous, however, and readers will empathize with Ryan as he offers a heartfelt prayer to God regarding his intimacy with Bethany. This well-paced tale is largely a strong read, but certain elements—Ryan is a millionaire and his family is just too good to be true—seem forced and far-fetched. Although some readers may be hesitant to read a romance involving such a major physical disability, Anderson makes it not only plausible (with seemingly good research to back her story up) but romantic through and through. (July 10)