A strong mystery intertwines with this romance, which has plenty of emotional ups and downs and includes delightful, intriguing and familiar characters.
Serving as a police officer in Jacobsville, Texas, McKuen Kilraven is due to return to his real job with the FBI. A Christmas gift from shy police dispatcher Winnie Sinclair stirs up sad memories. The murder of his wife and child seven years ago made him resolve to never get close to a woman again. Nevertheless, he can’t help being attracted to Winnie. The attraction complicates a faux marriage they participate in while searching for information that will convict the man who murdered Kilraven’s family. Meanwhile the opening of a cold case exposes some surprising information about Winnie’s mother, who deserted she and her brother a dozen years ago. (HQN, Jun., 320 pp., $24.95)