cover image Sweet Success

Sweet Success

Susan Mallery. Pocket Books, $7.99 (352pp) ISBN 978-0-7434-0595-9

Rich food, especially chocolate confections, receive extensive and loving descriptions in Mallery's latest contemporary romance (Wife in Disguise, etc.). Ali Thomas, owner of a chocolate shop in a small California town, takes in strays of every sort. Unfortunately these have included the unsavory men of her past who never remain in Santa Magdelana long and who have repeatedly betrayed her trust. When handsome but taciturn Matt Baker shows up to renovate Ali's storeroom, the brooding workman becomes the target of her mothering instincts. Although she suspects that her ever-reclusive employee is keeping several dark secrets about his past from her, Ali can't help feeling drawn to him. Likewise, Matt, who has spent a year roaming from place to place and avoiding any sort of personal entanglement, finds himself unable to move on as Ali's warmth begins to help him heal. This slight plot is bolstered by witty dialogue, plenty of romantic tension and delicious characters Ali's mother is a legendary movie star who devotes more time to her ailing pet pig than to her daughter. Fans of Jennifer Crusie, Susan Andersen and the Harlequin Duets line will savor this sugary tale. (May)