Can OB-GYN Ellen Markovwitz's life get any more complicated? In the space of 24 hours, her friendship with her handsome partner, Dr. Hall Talbot, has gone from comfortable to a potentially disastrous one-night stand. In a town as small as Shelter Rock Cove, nothing stays secret for long.

There is also the unexpected arrival of her free-spirit half-sister Deirdre and a 115-pound dog named Stanley. Ellen and Deirdre's family ties are complicated and emotionally charged; can they forge a stronger relationship for the future?

Hall, a four-time loser in the marriage stakes, has been in love with the happily married Annie Butler for years. His night of drunken passion with Ellen could finally awaken him to his steadily building attraction to her. But has he already damaged this relationship beyond repairing? This summer is proving to be one filled with the potential for hope, sadness, joy and love.

The bonds of family and sisterhood are exquisitely explored in Bretton's latest. The warmth, strength and human frailties of her characters make for rich and rewarding reading. (Nov., 368 pp., $6.99)

Reviewed by: 
Jill M. Smith