"A Rose for Romeo," by Karen Wiesner, leads off this anthology from the Jewels of the Quill. When a sex therapist calls it quits and returns to the town she abandoned years before, she discovers that love is waiting. In Nancy Pirri's "The Sheriff Takes a Wife," a newly retired model tracks her sister to the town of Harmon Junction where the bachelors are advertising for wives.

Romantic comedy is the focus of Julie Skerven's "Penelope's Problem." Faced with closing her home-helpers agency, Penny is delighted to have one final client: a tight-laced assistant district attorney. With her hippie-chick style, Penny is far from what Lance thinks is normal. Just before Desert Storm, Marine Sergeant James Rollins meets Rose, a store manager and widowed mother of two children. Scarred by previous experience, Rose is reluctant to get involved, but when she learns James is missing, she confronts her own feelings in Carrie S. Masek's "Desert Rose."

"Heart of Stone," a werewolf tale from Karen Woods, finds geologist Katie stalked and the pack calling her husband home to protect her. In "The Sting of Love," a short-short from Barbara Raffin, a forest ranger has to deal with a heartthrob Hollywood actor researching a role. Grace Talbot is bent on running a home for pregnant women only to be crushed when the house is sold in "Heart of Grace" by Michele Bardsley. Can a new angel help Grace and the developer find love?

While the premise of an anthology centered around Valentine's Day sounds like fun, readers will be disappointed that the holiday doesn't play much of a role. The varying story lengths is disappointing, too -- Raffin's tale has promise, but is only eight pages long! And the two paranormals don't fit with the contemporary mix -- Woods' story isn't a romance per se, and the premise of the angels in Bardsley's tale isn't fleshed out. (Feb., 291 pp., $12.95)
Reviewed by: 
Karen Sweeny-Justice