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Rebecca Zanetti. Zebra, $7.99 mass market (359p) ISBN 978-1-4201-4581-6

Zanetti’s first Requisition Force romantic thriller explodes with action, spice, and humor. Pippa Smith is in hiding, borderline agoraphobic, forever looking over her shoulder, and ducking away from security cameras after escaping life in a cult just before her 18th birthday. Isaac, the cult’s leader, is still searching for her seven years later. Malcolm West, her new next door neighbor in Cottage Grove, is a former undercover detective with PTSD from an op gone badly. Little do they know, their meeting is orchestrated by Angus Force, a former FBI profiler and head of a brand new branch of the Homeland Defense Department. Neither Pippa nor Malcolm is ready or willing to trust yet, but they find themselves pulled deeper into the lives they’re running from when the HDD assigns Malcolm to protect Pippa while getting information from her that can be used to target the cult. Beautifully developed characters pair well with an enticingly suspenseful story to create just enough tension to capture readers without being overwhelming. Agent: Caitlin Blasdell, Liza Dawson Assoc. (Oct.)