cover image The Rivals of Casper Road

The Rivals of Casper Road

Roan Parrish. Harlequin Special Edition, $5.99 mass market (288p) ISBN 978-1-335-72420-5

Parrish’s sweet but shallow fourth Garnet Run romance (after The Lights on Knockbridge Lane) leaves readers wanting more. As the new man in small-town Garnet Run, Wyo., Bram Larkspur is charmed by the welcome he receives from neighbors, all except for Zachary Glass, the six-time winner of their street’s Halloween decoration contest. Zachary doesn’t appreciate Bram’s attempts to disrupt his morning routine with small talk. He’s content to spend his days working from home as an architect and his nights designing for the contest using the creativity his day job doesn’t value. When it becomes clear that Bram will be Zachary’s only true competition for this year’s contest, Zachary can no longer contain his temper and accidentally incites a prank war between the two. But as they volley, the men begin to get to know each other and their animosity turns to friendship—and then something more. Parrish keeps things surface level as she packs in the plot, including a half-baked story line about Zachary’s missing sister, leaving little time to dig deeper into her delightful characters and their connection. Readers will wish for more substance, but there’s still enough charm here to please series fans. (Sept.)