Marisa de los Santos’ novels maybe too sweet and predictible for some readers, but I’ve quite happily escaped into Love Walked In and Belong to Me. Who needs harsh and unsettling all the time?

de los Santos’ characters are charming — Cornelia Brown, a winsome thirty-something hopelessly romantic old-movie buff who’s still trying to find herself; Claire, the young girl who lands unexpectedly in her lap and makes herself at home beneath Cornielia’s serendipitous and fiercely loyal wings; Teo, who, in Love Walked In is so perfect you know he couldn’t be real. But so what? Remember what I said about needing harsh and unsettling all the time? And besides, in Belong to Me Teo’s past catches up with him. Even when all their lives are falling to pieces, you know these three will somehow be put back together again.

I’ve read that Sarah Jessica Parker has been tapped to play Cornelia in a film version of Love Walked In. I just don’t see her in that role. I know she’s tiny (at least in relation to Big and nearly everyone else) but she doesn’t strike me as being able to project Cornelia’s sweet guilelessness. No matter. Kudos to de los Santos for her achievements on all scores.