Berkley, Sep 6 2011, $7.99
In Serendipity, New York, former wealthy Faith Harrington disowned her father Martin when he accepted a plea bargain after a Bernie Madoff level financial fraud; she also divorced her womanizing husband Carter Moreland who knew all before dumping her. She and her family are broke having to sell everything including the mansion on the hill through an SEC auction to pay back investors.
After a decade away Ethan Barron returns home too. He owes his younger brothers Nash and Dare having deserted them to foster care when their parents died and he couldn’t cope; he knows he will need to be patient to win them over as they no longer need him like they did when he ran. Although the victim of her father’s crime the townsfolk refuse to hire interior designer Faith; that is until Ethan hires the Princess on the hill to renovate his new purchase, her family’s former mansion. Back in high school, they had a heated moment, but that seems tundra compared to how the former princess and the entrepreneur feel today.
The first of the Barron brothers’ contemporary romances is an entertaining tale starring two strong obstinate protagonists and a powerful mostly extended families’ support cast. The lead couple and their siblings have realistic issues including family dynamics that may keep them apart. With a nod to the headlines and some late suspense, Carly Phillips opens her upstate New York tale with a strong entry.