cover image This Thing Called Love

This Thing Called Love

Miranda Liasson. Amazon/Montlake Romance, $12.95 trade paper (233p) ISBN 978-1-4778-2906-6

Liasson won a Golden Heart Award in 2013 for this contrived smalltown contemporary, which opens the Mirror Lake series. Brad Rushford raised his four siblings after their parents died when he was 15. He and Olivia Marks were childhood sweethearts, but he ended the relationship during her freshman year at NYU. Meanwhile, his brother Kevin married Olivia’s sister Trish. When Kevin and Trish are killed in a car accident, Olivia, now a successful editor, returns to her Connecticut home town to take custody of her niece, in a role reminiscent of Diane Keaton in Baby Boom. Brad, a wealthy businessman, plans to undermine Olivia’s already low confidence as a parent, seeing this as a completely reasonable way to keep the child with the Rushford clan rather than lose her to a workaholic in Manhattan. Brad and Olivia’s old connection resurfaces, but the big-city/smalltown conundrum remains, exacerbated by Brad’s confusing lifestyle as a womanizer who reads child-rearing books when he babysits. This is an assembly of clichés masquerading as a novel. Agent: Jill Marsal, Marsal Lyon Literary Agency. (May)