Extraordinarily talented category author Marilyn Pappano is sure to gain many new fans with her first, but hopefully not last, latest contemporary novel IN SINFUL HARMONY.

All of her life, Celine Hunter has had to be the sensible one, the level-headed practical one in her scatterbrained family. She even chose the sensible career of being a librarian for the small town of Harmony, LA. Celine is desperately bored and tired of the same old patterns, so when legendary bad boy Will Beaumont returns to town, she is ripe for a little rebellion.

Will Beaumont never intended to return to Harmony, only the insistent plea by Miss Rose Kendall, the woman who took him in and raised him after he was orphaned, made him break his vow. To say he left town under a cloud would be an understatement; Will had been accused of fathering Melanie Robinson's son and then robbing Miss Rose of money and jewelry as he fled.

Celine is fascinated by and attracted to the bitter and moody Will. Having been pigeon-holed all her life, Celine refuses to buy into the accepted version of Will's behavior, but she finds it immensely difficult to breach his protective shell.

Raymond Kendall, Miss Rose's biological son is outraged and furious by Will's unexpected return. Raymond's obsessive hatred of Will made him manipulate evidence to drive Will away once before, will he succeed a second time?

Ms. Pappano has created two truly memorable, realistic and emotionally complex characters in Celine and Will. Their struggle for self knowledge and emotional growth makes for wonderful and thought-provoking reading. (June, 416 pp.,$5.99)

Reviewed by: 
Jill M. Smith