Man Shy (Loveswept, No. 880) - Catherine Mulvany Mallory needs a man right away, and not just any man, he's got to be drop-dead-gorgeous and make her sister salivate. Why? Because said sister has stolen her longtime boyfriend and expects kind and understanding Mallory to not only attend the wedding, but to be her maid-of-honor! Mallory is painfully shy around men, but one of her friends introduces her to undercover cop, Brody Hunter. With his long hair, dangerous and stunning looks, he is perfect for the part. And Mallory is told that he's gay, so there is no need to feel insecure around him. Except she does, especially when he insists on going out on "dates" so they can get their act down before the big wedding. She soon wonders if her buddy has lied to her because Brody's acting is becoming quite convincing.

The author hooked me from the first page, creating such lovable characters that I didn't want to put the book down. The story starts out light, sexy and funny, then she adds an ongoing mystery/investigation plot that relies a bit too much on coincidence, but which made for some cute encounters. Despite the suspense thread, the author manages to keep the love story the main focus of the book, which is why it worked so perfectly for me. The characters appear to be your classic mismatch: the shy, frigid schoolteacher and the dark and dangerous cop, but it's quickly revealed that they both have much more depth (and much more in common) than at first glance. A genuine, believable friendship develops before they fall head-over-heels in love. This kind of story wins me over every time! The entire book was a real pleasure to read.