cover image Jackson (The McBrides of Texas #1)

Jackson (The McBrides of Texas #1)

Emily March. St. Martin’s, $7.99 mass market (336p) ISBN 978-1-250-31491-8

March’s contemporary spin-off from her long-running Eternity Springs series is off to a promising start with this story of starting over. Several of the McBrides relocate from Eternity Springs, Colo., to the small town of Redemption, Tex., in Texas’s hill country. Songwriter Jackson McBride and his two cousins are surprised to inherit the Enchanted Canyon Ranch, but Jackson soon learns that transforming the old buildings and ghost town into a resort and dance hall is a welcome distraction from the pain he feels over being separated from his young daughter, Haley. He hasn’t been able to write since his marriage dissolved, but he finds inspiration again when he meets Caroline Carruthers, a travel writer. Caroline is attracted to Jackson, but hesitant about entering a new relationship after her May-December romance made her a young widow. She’s not sure she knows how to stand on her own, but she’s ready to turn the page by opening a bookstore in Redemption. March is skilled at writing page-turners with sympathetic characters, and fans will enjoy visiting with many friends from Eternity Springs who appear during the resort’s soft launch. An improbable mystical component only slightly distracts from this classic story of two bruised hearts beginning to heal. (July)