cover image Herons Landing: A Honeymoon Harbor Novel

Herons Landing: A Honeymoon Harbor Novel

JoAnn Ross. HQN, $7.99 mass market (496p) ISBN 978-1-335-94935-6

A widower gets a second chance at love with his wife’s best friend in this predictable but sweet first book in Ross’s Honeymoon Harbor series. Seth Harper, a renovator of historic homes in the small Pacific Northwest town of Honeymoon Harbor, has spent two years mourning his wife, Zoe, an army nurse killed in a bombing in Afghanistan. When Brianna Mannion, Zoe’s best friend, leaves her chaotic job as a concierge in Las Vegas and returns to the quaint Victorian seaport town, she is reminded of her longtime affection for Seth, and he realizes that she may be the one person who could help him move past his grief. Seth is a likable and sympathetic protagonist whose emotional turmoil is convincing. Brianna’s intense emotions are overstated at times, but their history and steamy chemistry together make them a pleasing couple. The story is hampered by long-winded sentences and information dumps—Ross weaves in the rich history of the town, exhaustively introducing all its residents—but the dialogue is often natural and dynamic, and the main story is enhanced by a subplot featuring Seth’s separated parents. Fans of cozy small-town romances will be willing to read further in the series. Agent: Denise Marcil, Marcil O’Farrell Literary. (May)