SEEING IS BELIEVING
In this follow-up to Heiress for Hire, McCarthy once again creates a sweet, lighthearted romp, spiced with heat. The story is not complicated and the conflict is a trifle constructed, but the book is just plain fun to read. The scars of childhood are handled deftly and with a light touch, so they are believable but not overpowering. The over-arching niceness of the characters is as comforting as hot cocoa on a cold day.
Ever since Piper Tucker was rescued from a horrid childhood by being dumped on her astonished father, she has been trying to demonstrate her gratitude by being a very good girl. This plan has been complicated by her ability to see ghosts, but she has been mostly successful at suppressing that disturbing talent. Now a kindergarten teacher, she lives on her parents’ farm and babysits her cousins. But her peaceful world is upset by the reappearance of her childhood crush, looking hot and remembering all about her ghost-viewing days. And they are staying in the same house! This is making Piper yearn for things decidedly not on the nice-girl list. Brady remembers Piper as the skinny, bald waif that he babysat. He raced out of small-town Ohio 12 years ago to go to art school in Chicago, but his big dreams got pretty flattened by years in marketing, and now he has even gotten laid off from that job. He is not sure why he has come to lick his wounds in his old hometown, but he is certainly shocked at one change in the old place — Piper Tucker. She has grown into a gorgeous woman. Now if these pesky ghosts would stop breaking things up, he and Piper could play some grown-up games. (BERKLEY SENSATION, Mar., 304 pp., $7.99)