Callie Grey is a die-hard romantic with a serious crush on her boss, Mark Rousseau. Though he’s dumped her, she still has high hopes that he’ll come to his senses. That is, until he announces his engagement to someone else — on Callie’s 30th birthday, no less. Then, adding insult to injury, her mother throws her a birthday party at the family funeral home.
Callie comes up with a plan to get Mark’s attention — by starting a relationship with someone else. Ian MacFarland is a veterinarian who’s much more comfortable around animals than people. He’s more than a bit socially inept, if you ask Callie. Yet he cannot help but be charmed by lively, fun-loving Callie. A flirtatious friendship ensues, along with genuine feelings, but Ian, still hurt by his ex-wife’s betrayal, is determined to keep Callie at arm’s length. Will she be able to wiggle past his walls or will the standoffish bachelor scare her away? (HQN, Aug., 416 pp., $7.99)