Change of Plans

Forever: Grand Central. Aug. 2023. 368p. ISBN 9781538703724. pap. $16.99. CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE
When her brother and sister-in-law die in a car accident, Tampa chef Bryce Weatherford relocates to a small New York town to care for her three young orphaned nieces. While out grocery shopping, one of the girls innocently mistakes veteran Ryker Matthews, who lost his leg in combat, for a pirate. Bryce promises to make it up to him the only way she knows how—through food. The two strike up a friendship that soon turns into more, but both carry their share of baggage. Bryce is in a custody dispute with her nieces’ grandparents, who are contesting her guardianship, while Ryker battles PTSD and ongoing health issues. To overcome these obstacles, they will need each other more than ever, but a secret that Ryker has yet to divulge could put everything at risk.
VERDICT Newton (All Fired Up) tackles the subject of amputation with care, yet still manages to infuse the plot with humor via the high jinks of Bryce’s nieces. It’s mild in the heat department but big on tenderness, and readers looking for depth and substance in their romance will find much to delight in here. Highly recommended.
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