This time out, it's Barbara Freethy's latest, Suddenly One Summer (Pocket Star). Angels Bay, California is a quiet little town along the coast, a town with a history. Jenna Davies doesn't know that history when she arrives with her 'daughter' Lexie. She just knows she needs somewhere safe to live. Reid Tanner's arrival in Angels Bay is only as an observer: he's a burned-out reporter on assignment for a tabloid magazine, and he just needs to find out if the newly-surfaced video of angels in the bay is real or a fake. But when Jenna dives off the pier to save the life of a stranger, he has a hunch there's more going on in Angels Bay than anyone realized. But the wary Jenna isn't going to open up to a reporter, despite the attraction they share. Then there are the other residents of the town: Joe, the new police chief, whose wife has stayed in L.A, and who finds himself thinking about the local doctor; Charlotte, the prodigal daughter, home to help her mother after her father's death and working at the local medical center for now; Kara, who owns the local quilt store and is married to one of the town's police officers. There is a lot going on here, though this is the first of a new series, so I can understand the need to get some things set up in readers' minds right away. I liked Jenna and Reid very much, but I didn't love the end of this one, which forces readers to wait until the next book (and when will that be out? Next spring!) to find out the fate of one of the characters they've come to know and like. I'm a huge Barbara Freethy fan and have started lots of my romance readers at work on her books over the years, but this is not my favorite of her stories. It's earned three and a half of Cupid's five arrows. Maybe when the second book comes out we won't have the same sort of cliffhanger ending to deal with. I think readers would want to stick around Angels Bay, even if they didn't have to.
Until next time, happy reading!