Harlequin HQN, Jul 2008, $6.99
The Keyes sisters are estranged from one another or at least with Claire since their dad’s funeral several years ago. However, Jesse calls her sibling renowned pianist Claire to tell her Nicole is undergoing gallbladder surgery and will need help since she will be recuperating for six weeks and her bakery has apparently shut. Claire sees this as an opportunity to make up with her fraternal sis and agrees.
However, in Seattle, Claire learns that Jesse and Nicole are not talking to each other and that her ailing sibling does not want her here. Claire ignores Nicole’s protest. When Claire meets Nicole’s friend Wyatt Knight an attraction surfaces immediately. However, neither wants to pursue their desires because she is in town for Nicole so feels strongly she must reject any intrusions including a loving one and he has been burned in his previous relationships
The battling Keyes sisters are as dysfunctional siblings as one will find short of fratricide; each has what they perceive is a legitimate gripe against her siblings. In fact it is the interrelationships between the trio that is the key to this fine emotional tale. Even the romance between Claire and Wyatt, though well done, takes a back seat to the war as Nicole feels her close friend is betraying her by his attraction to her enemy sister. Susan Mallery provides a powerful passionate backdrop to a fine contemporary romance.