Abby Patterson is no longer the same docile woman she was before losing her husband and daughter in a car accident. In an attempt to get on with her life, she moves to Seaside, away from her controlling parents. But before she knows it, she's a key witness to a hit-and-run accident, her grumpy landlord is making her life a living hell, and her parents are determined to take her back home.

Landlord Marsh Winslow is just your average quiet guy with two college degrees. He's a professor at a seminary and has another, more secret career. He's not sure he did the right thing renting the upstairs of his beach home to Abby, since she gets under his skin the minute she arrives. His chance to work seems to be totally destroyed with the number of people filing by to see his new tenant. Will he ask her to leave, or be drawn into Abby's problems, especially now that she's witnessed an accident and just may be a target herself?

Ms. Roper's voice is so unique and her writing style so different that I must admit at times I wasn't sure I liked it. Eventually I grew to like the quirky characterseven if they did fall for each other rather quicklyand I've come to appreciate that Ms. Roper is not your run-of-the-mill author. (May, 400 pp., $11.99)

Reviewed by: 
Bev Huston