Set in Deep Haven, Minnesota, HAPPILY EVER AFTER centers on Joe, who's struggling to maintain his facade as a handyman when he's actually a bestselling author prowling for material for his next novel. The folks he encounters sometimes flirt with preaching in their conversations but often delve into the human condition in a fresh way. For instance, Mona's self-evaluation: She'd been so focused on her goals, the whisper of God in her heart seemed but an ancient echo.

This debut story glows with romantic ingenuity as Joe and Mona have a grand time on a picnic date, watching bears forage at the local dump. Their secret hurts and guarded hearts keep them apart, even as they work together to save Mona's bookstore from a mysterious saboteur. (Apr., 347 pp., $9.99)

Reviewed by: 
Jill Elizabeth Nelson