cover image BLUE BAYOU


JoAnn Ross, . . Pocket, $6.99 (376pp) ISBN 978-0-7434-3682-3

A woman's attempt to reunite with her ex-con father and rebuild her life after the death of her deceitful husband lies at the heart of this atmospheric contemporary romance set in Blue Bayou, La. When Danielle Dupree was a teen, her father, a high-powered judge, sent her to a home for unwed mothers after she became pregnant with the baby of her teen-lover, Jack Callahan. Ostensibly, she was then forced to give her baby girl up for adoption. Now, 13 years later, widowed and determined to make a home for her son and father, who was imprisoned years ago on trumped-up charges, Dani returns to Blue Bayou as the local librarian. In a Scarlet O'Hara moment, Dani learns that her once opulent family home, sold by her late husband to fund his political career, has been purchased and restored by Jack, now an ex–DEA agent turned bestselling novelist. It doesn't take long for the romantic sparks between Dani and Jack to rekindle, but with so many skeletons lurking in dark corners and truths waiting to be told, the future doesn't look promising for them. Ross (Legends Lake) is in fine form with this first installment in her new Callahan Brothers trilogy. Despite a few contrived elements—such as a corrupt sheriff's ploy to run Dani and her father out of town—there's plenty of sex and secrets to keep readers captivated. (Apr.)