Patricia Riceís newest novel Carolina Girl is a wonderful read involving those irresistible McCloud brothers. This time it is Clayís turn to fall in love. His story takes the reader along on a wonderful journey of romance, rebuilding, and hope.
Aurora Jenkins has come home to South Carolina for one reason, to save her family from financial ruin, and as soon as that task is complete she is going to be gone with the wind. After receiving word that the island she calls home has been chosen for a state park Aurora begins to champion its creation, hoping that it will bring tourist dollars into the communities flagging economy and at the same time improve her familyís fortune. However, soon Aurora begins to discover that developers want a piece of the action and plan to turn her beloved community in a condo-covered hell. Seeking help in putting a stop to the developers project, Aurora runs into Clay McCloud, a computer genius who has been hired to find the owners of the land where the park has been proposed. Clay McCloud just wants to be left alone after losing his dot-com company, returning home to lick his wounds and make a few bucks doing contract work. At least until that work runs him straight into Aurora Jenkins, a women Clay finds himself very attracted to and when his feelings are returned sparks begin to fly. Together, Clay and Aurora must work together to save the community they call home and eventually come to love.
This book is a truly touching novel about two people who have been betrayed coming to trust one another and eventually falling in love. The characters are extremely well written and capture the readerís imagination as they move through the story. The community that Rice has created is wonderful and really captures the feeling of small town life. I appreciated the theme of love and what is right being more important than money as characters in this novel have to choose between the two over and over again. The romance between Clay and Aurora is at times sweet and funny and is also at times troublesome and torrid, which is true to life. The other brothers make an appearance in this book as well allowing devoted fans to peek at what has transpired in their lives. Overall, this is wonderful book to curl up with during a cold winterís night.