cover image Repressed


Elisabeth Naughton. Montlake Romance, $12.95 trade paper (316p) ISBN 978-1-5039-3606-5

Naughton launches her Deadly Secrets series with a solid contemporary romantic mystery. Samantha Parker has returned to her hometown of Hidden Falls, Ore., to teach chemistry. As a child, she witness the death of her brother, Seth, and she’s still haunted by the memories, even as she’s repressed some of them. She meets Ethan McClane, a psychiatrist who comes to her school to observe classes, and who knew her brother. As the two of them work to uncover her missing memories, which also relate to a long-missing teacher named Sandra Hollings, they begin to fall in love. Naughton keeps the plot nice and twisty, with multiple villains, a well-developed small-town feel, and some good setups for the future books in the series (likely focusing on Seth’s siblings by blood, all of whom, like him, were adopted and had troubled childhoods). There are a few moments of genuine danger, but for the most part Naughton focuses on building tension and developing characters, with satisfying results. Agent: Laura Blake Peterson, Curtis Brown Ltd. (July)