This series really picks up steam in book two, with a delicious, sizzling romance, great secondary characters (and another love story), good insights into family dynamics and a lovely California beach cove setting. The storyline is believable without being heavy, and the heroine runs a cupcake truck. What’s not to like?
Combat medic Vance Smith made a promise to his dying colonel to take the soldier’s daughter on their dream vacation, a month at Beach House No. 9. There is a helmet list of things the colonel wanted to do with his daughter, and a picture of an adorable 10-year-old girl. Vance is determined to fulfill this last request. Still recovering from his injuries, he rents the beach house, hires a nanny and heads to Crescent Cove — only the girl is a lovely 23-year-old who turns his insides molten. He cannot betray the colonel by doing the midnight tango with his daughter. As a soldier’s daughter, Layla Parker has learned the lesson of emotional detachment well. Vance is incredibly hot, but she needs to guard her heart against grief. Yet when they touch, it’s electric. How will they ever survive this month? (HQN, Mar., 384 pp., $7.99)