Fleeing her family, Cecily Hecht leaves New York bound for the small Minnesota town of Two Sisters, where she hopes to make a new beginning for herself and unborn child. Changing her name to Sissy Heck and taking a job as a waitress in a small cafe seems ideal, until she meets Sheriff Joe Willie Everett.

Outlaw turned lawman, Joe Willie keeps the peace in this bawdy lumbering town with a good sense of humor and pragmatism. However, when Sissy arrives Joe Willie realizes that in a man-scarce town, a beautiful woman like Sissy is trouble and that he better keep an eye on her.

The warm-hearted population of Two Sisters takes to Sissy like a duck to water. Though there are those who are curious and those who are jealous, most of the townsfolk make Sissy feel comfortable and free enough to write articles for the newspaper and join in the community's events.

But underneath the warmth lies danger, as one after another young woman is murdered and no one know why or who the killer might be. Joe Willie makes it his personal responsibility to watch over Sissy and they fall in love. Nothing can stop Sissy and Joe from marrying, but still death stalks Two Sisters and Sissy.

Once again, Wynema McGowan has written a different Americana-style romance. Her unique voice and earthy portrait of real characters who will engage their emotions and find a place in their hearts. The paranormal aspects of the mystery add suspense and drama to a sweet romance, though the author intrusion might detract a bit. SWEET (July, 300 pp., $4.99)

Reviewed by: 
Kathe Robin