cover image In the Mood for Love

In the Mood for Love

Beth Ciotta. St. Martin’s Paperbacks, $7.99 mass market (320p) ISBN 978-1-250-00135-1

Ciotta’s fourth Cupcake Lovers contemporary (after Anything but Love) complicates the lives of Vermont’s close-knit Monroe siblings (heroes of the previous books) by introducing their cousin, Sam McCloud. Sam has settled into singlehood three years after being widowed, and he often daydreams of the long-ago secret relationship he had with publicist Harper Day. Though she broke it off, Harper still lusts after him. When she’s fired from an L.A. PR firm, her visa is about to expire, and she fears being deported to Canada where she’ll be in danger from someone in her past. Naturally, Sam proposes marriage to help her stay in the U.S. Throw in the birth of a baby, romance between secondary characters, a detective looking into Harper’s history, and a rebel musician, and the town of Sugar Creek comes to life. Deep love of family and strong dialogue bolster a refreshing romance that focuses on the emotional rather than the physical. (July)