cover image Sand Castle Bay

Sand Castle Bay

Sherryl Woods. Mira, $7.99 mass market (384p) ISBN 978-0-7783-1436-3

Bestseller Woods (the Sweet Magnolias series) launches a series about sisters juggling love and career with this bland contemporary. Emily Castle leaves her interior decorating business in Los Angeles to help her grandmother, whose North Carolina restaurant has been damaged by a hurricane. She encounters Boone Dorsett, whom she left 10 years before to pursue her career. Boone married another, but, conveniently, his wife died a year ago, leaving him with a guilty conscience and eight-year-old B.J., who strikes up an implausibly swift friendship with Emily. Boone is concerned about the effect a new relationship will have on his son, but he and Emily explore the possibility of starting over. This results in endless backing and forthing, as Emily juggles clients, career, and her relationship with Boone, while they discuss at length whether it’s the right thing for all involved. The only real obstruction is the hollow threat of a custody battle from Boone’s resentful mother-in-law; the conclusion is predictable and slightly cloying. Agent: Denise Marcil, Denise Marcil Literary Agency. (Apr.)