Baker’s new Sweetland series begins with an absorbing story starring a number of complex characters. The romance between the hero and heroine is well crafted, and the hero’s difficulty moving on from past sorrow is realistic. Readers will be eager to read the stories of Quinn’s siblings and their four-legged companions.
After losing his high school love and then his father to cancer, the only reason Dr. Quinton Cantrell returns to Sweetland, Md., after 19 years is for his Gramma’s funeral. That she left her B&B to him and his five siblings is no surprise. That she also left them each a puppy and $50,000 in back taxes to pay is a bit of a shock. Even more surprising is the fact that Quinn can’t seem to stay away from Nikki Brockington, the girlhood friend of his youngest sister and the newly promoted manager of the B&B. Suddenly, going back to his empty home and time-consuming practice in Seattle is losing its charm. Can he let go of the sorrow from his past in time to save his chance at a future in Sweetland with Nikki? (ST. MARTIN’S, May, 352 pp., $7.99)