cover image The Christmas Wedding Guest

The Christmas Wedding Guest

Susan Mallery. HQN, $16.99 trade paper (384p) ISBN 978-1-335-52245-0

Mallery (Summer Days) takes readers to idyllic Wishing Tree, Wash., where two sisters find love over the holidays. Seattleite Reggie Somerville missed last year’s family Christmas after being abruptly jilted by her fiancé. This year, she agrees to return to Wishing Tree to help with her parents’ upcoming vow renewal ceremony and assist her schoolteacher sister, Dena, with her third graders’ knitting project. Also volunteering on the project is Toby Newkirk, Reggie’s high school boyfriend, who returned to town to raise his son, Harrison. Their attraction soon rekindles, but Toby isn’t sure he’s ready for a long-term relationship. Meanwhile, Dena, who’s made the choice to be a single mother through artificial insemination, struggles with pregnancy-induced nausea, wrangles her class, and runs the Wishing Tree Bed and Breakfast on the side. Enter the B&B’s new guest, musician Micah Ruiz, who’s in town working on a song and healing from the death of his pregnant wife in an accident. Though Dena and Micah have an undeniable spark, she’s unsure if he’s open to love after his devastating loss. Mallery packs in the Christmas spirit, with friends and family coming together to celebrate. The result is alluring, well plotted, and sure to please. Agent: Annelise Robey, Jane Rotrosen Agency. (Oct.)