Xpress Reviews: Fiction | First Look at New Books, January 3, 2014

Week ending January 3, 2014

DeStefano, Anna. Love on Mimosa Lane. Montlake Romance. (Seasons of the Heart, Bk. 3). Jan. 2014. 323p. ISBN 9781480577848. pap. $12.95; ebk. ISBN 9781477848418. CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE
seasonsoftheheart10314Lawrence Thacker Beaumont moved with his wife, Libby, and his daughter, Chloe, three years ago to Chandlerville, GA. Recovered alcoholics, Law and Libby are now divorced and share custody of their eight-year-old child, and enigmatic bad boy Law isn’t thrilled to be called to Chloe’s school by the assistant principal. He has been aware of Kristen Hemmings for quite some time, but with his life focused on Chloe and trying to deal with Libby’s backbiting behavior, Law wasn’t going to go there. Kristen has kept Law in her sights as well, but her less-than-supportive upbringing has left her gun-shy of relationships. Kristen wants Law to help with one of her students, Fin Robinson, a troubled kid with a talent for soccer living with the Dixons’ foster family. Law was the coach of the youth soccer team last year, mostly because Chloe was the star player. Can Kristen convince Law to work with Fin and can Fin encourage Chloe to rejoin the team? Could this plan lead them all to rediscover trust, love, and hope for the future?
Verdict DeStefano (Christmas on Mimosa Lane; Three Days on Mimosa Lane) covers a number of serious issues—e.g., alcoholism, the foster care system—as she continues to find romance among the inhabitants of this close-knit community. Law and Kristen are thoughtful and insecure protagonists who fight their fears to build a connection with each other and to help two struggling kids figure out who they are and what they want to be. This affecting and sweet story will appeal to most romance fans.—Bette-Lee Fox, Library Journal

Wilde, Lori. Somebody To Love. Avon. (Cupid, Texas). Jan. 2014. 373p. ISBN 9780062218988. pap. $7.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062218995. CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE
Mercurial Zoey “Zoe-eyes” McCleary, a member of one of the founding families of Cupid, TX, is both delighted and terrified when her best friend since childhood—scholar-cowboy Jericho Hezekiah Chance—turns out to be The One. Not only is he deliciously handsome, smart, and newly hired as professor of archaeology, but he’s helping to make a difference in Zoey’s life in ways she never imagined anyone could. With a curious (i.e., impulsive) nature, Zoey has pursued many interests, but none has stuck. If she doesn’t get her act together and commit to something, she risks losing her trust fund, and without a plan b, that means total defeat. Not an option. Enter the archaeological dig at Triangle Mount. Under the direction of Dr. Chance, Zoey takes brilliantly to the project, which brings her closer to her heritage, keeps her attention, and turns out to be the kind of work at which she seems to be a natural. But there are a few catches, and one involves not taking her teacher to bed (not right away). She must outsmart a band of outsiders as they attempt to sabotage the dig and ultimately gamble her own life.
Verdict A whimsical heroine is ready to settle down, but she first must figure out how while helping her best friend/soul mate (and elite lover). Readers will want this relationship to work out—together, these two are that good. Despite the minor lull in the book’s middle section, Wilde (Love at First Sight) doesn’t give the story away until the last page. Recommended for readers with a penchant for follow-through.—Annalisa Pesek, Library Journal