Lorraine Heath, . . Pocket Star, $6.99 (367pp) ISBN 978-0-7434-5745-3

With this sweetly simple contemporary romance, Heath abandons the historical Wild West setting her fans have come to love, but she hasn't forsaken her beloved home state of Texas. Like Heath's first contemporary outing, Hard Lovin' Man , this book takes place in Hopeful, a little town chock-full of charm. After spending just one night with beautiful single mom Serena Hamilton, CIA agent Hunter Fletcher realizes that he'd like to spend many more nights with her. This realization may raise some readers' eyebrows, especially given Hunter's fear of both relationships and commitment, but there's no denying that the attraction between the two is mutual. When a baby results from their brief affair, they decide to try to build a life together. However, they must first learn to trust each other. For Hunter, that means coming clean about his past association with Serena's late husband. Heath's prose is smooth and evocative, and her characters are refreshingly down to earth. But the big secret on which the protagonists' relationship hinges feels contrived. Be that as it may, Heath is such a master at her craft that she still manages to wrap readers up in the daily dramas of her characters' lives. (Apr.)