From Father to Son, by Janice Kay Johnson.
I'm up to Long Contemporary Series this month in my effort to read one finalist from each category of the 2013 Rita awards. These books run heavily to small town Americana, taking me out of my readerly comfort zone, and this book was no exception. However, the small town in question was in Western Washington, not too far from Seattle. If I ever moved to a small town, it would probably be out here, maybe someplace like Sequim because it's far sunnier than Seattle without being hotter in the summer. So I felt a bit more at home in this book's small town than I usually am, and thankfully no one in the book went off on how dangerous the big city is or how terrible our schools are or how much better it is to live in a small town or anything like that. Trash MY city and that book is meeting the wall.
Anyway, my small town issues aside, I enjoyed this book. The hero and heroine both seemed like real, relatable people, and the widowed heroine's two young children were charming without being implausibly cute and precocious. Some of the tropes used weren't my favorites, like a sexually unawakened widow (the most I can say without giving spoilers is that she and her husband were sexually incompatible and poor at communicating their needs and issues), along with children-in-peril, but I figure any book with a cop hero is going to have some sort of crime subplot. But in general, while I'm not the target market for this story, I can tell it'd make an excellent read for someone who does enjoy contemporary small towns, the tropes I mentioned, and so on.