cover image Edgewater Road

Edgewater Road

Shelley Shepard Gray. Blackstone, $17.99 trade paper (294p) ISBN 978-1-79992-369-5

Bestseller Gray (the Bridgeport Social Club series) launches her Rumors in Ross County series with a tantalizing contemporary romance. When Jennifer Smiley inherits her grandmother’s Victorian farmhouse, she’s not expecting her new neighbors to be ex-cons. She’s wary upon meeting John Lincoln Bennett, who runs a rehabilitation program for fellow ex-cons—but when she’s assaulted and her no-good father reenters her life, it’s Lincoln and those he’s taken under his wing who come to her defense. Gruff but dependable Lincoln has a secret heart of gold, proving an excellent balance to prototypical girl-next-door Jennifer. As she learns to see past her neighbors’ rough edges and forms fast friendships, she makes some shocking discoveries about her grandmother’s checkered past—including how she met Lincoln. Frustratingly, Gray leaves some key questions unanswered about this criminal backstory, making things feel a tad unresolved. Still, readers will eagerly follow Jennifer and Lincoln’s romance until the final page is turned. Agent: Nicole Resciniti, Seymour Agency. (Mar.)