Kate Appleton is an all-too frequent character in contemporary romance: the recent divorcée whose ex-husband makes a bid for jerk of the year. Her desperation to find a job and make her dreams come true is rather exaggerated in the beginning and the authors do not give you any indication of her skills and acumen until late in the novel. Still, Kate’s relationships with her parents and her interactions with Matt grow organically and realistically, the dialogue is sharp and witty and the reader will root for the couple in the end.

Kate Appleton hopes to convert her parents’ house into a bed and breakfast in beautiful Keene’s Harbor, Mich. Unfortunately, she has few plans, fewer helping hands and no money. As Kate struggles to work her way toward her goals, she becomes enamored of her new boss, Matt Culhane, who she charmed (or alternately bamboozled) into giving her a job. Someone in Keene’s Harbor is out to destroy Matt’s business, and Matt actually holds the mortgage on Kate’s dreams. Only by solving the mystery and earning her wage will Kate succeed. (ST. MARTIN’S, Jan., 320 pp., $27.99)
Reviewed by: 
Victoria Frerichs