Bethlehem is a small town where everyone knows and trusts each other—even newcomers like Cole Jackson. Leanne Wilson falls in love with him, not realizing he's a con artist until he runs off with most of the town's money. Leanne is left with a broken heart, as well as Cole's son, Ryan, to care for.

The con fails Cole when he realizes that his love for Leanne is real. Feeling horrible, he sends the town's money back but is still found and arrested. Instead of being sent to jail, however, Cole suffers a far worse fate—community service in Bethlehem. He'll see all the people he betrayed, especially Leanne and Ryan, on a daily basis.

Pappano has always been a strong writer, but she's outdone herself in small wonders, the latest in her Bethlehem series. These characters were marvelously depicted in the previous book, Cabin Fever, and this installment helps the reader better understand why certain characters behave as they do. You'll connect with a fictional world where you're always made to feel welcome. (Sep., 400 pp., $6.50)

Reviewed by: 
Robyn Glazer