Responsible librarian Julia Wright strives to maintain her tranquil, respectable existence in her adopted hometown of Serenity Falls, Pa. But several people arrive to complicate her life: her New Age mother, her wild-child sister and the long-lost local "bad boy," Luke Maguire. Her family might cause her embarrassment, but getting involved with a man like Luke could only mean the end of her "good girl" image.

Luke high-tailed it out of the small town 12 years before and never looked back. But a surprising stipulation in his father's will forced him to return. Now Luke finds himself not only taking care of business at his late father's pub and making eyes at Julia, but also trying -- like many of the novel's characters -- to keep everyone from figuring out his deepest, darkest secrets.

Linz offers an enjoyable story that's high on wacky situations and cute dialogue. Although most of the secondary characters are not as well developed as the protagonists, readers looking for a light and frequently funny tale will not be led astray. (Jan., 336 pp., $7.99)

Reviewed by: 
Marilyn Weigel