Things cannot possibly get any worse for Maggie Bonner in Nancy Butler's The Barkin Emeralds (4.5). She's lost her job, was robbed at gunpoint, is marooned on a desolate island and has fallen into a hole. Her job of returning her former employer's betrothal gift—the Barkin Emeralds—is hindered by Gulliver MacGuigan. The island of St. Columba is nearly destitute; its people are starving, and Gulliver has taken desperate measures to save them. The emeralds he snatches from Maggie should provide enough collateral. Despite Gulliver's disbelief regarding Maggie's identity, it's brilliant watching their feelings for one another emerge. Gulliver is a multifaceted hero who delights, despite his original act of theft. (Jun., 224 pp., $4.99)
Reviewed by: 
Robin Taylor