by Luanne Rice

May 2005
ISBN: 0-553-58762-5
Reviewer Graphic Button Bantam Books
Mass Market Paperback

Almost like an episode of Unsolved Mysteries, nine years ago a very pregnant Mara Jameson went out in her yellow boots with her watering can to water her grandmother's beloved garden and was never seen again. The small seaside community where she lived has been forever changed. Now a retired police detective, Patrick Murphy still obsesses about the case which ultimately caused his divorce. Even retirement hasn’t eased his desire to someday find out what happened.

Many miles away in Nova Scotia, Lily Malone has made a life for herself and her daughter. She only has to worry about keeping her daughter, Rose, healthy and making enough money at her embroidery shop to support them. One man, Liam Neill, a local scientist and whale expert, has spent every day of the last nine years trying to break through the barrier that Lily carries everywhere she goes. However her past experiences make her hesitant to let another man close to her.

When Rose becomes ill during her birthday cruise, Lily rushes her to the local hospital in hopes that they can help her until her heart surgery scheduled to take place in Boston. What she doesn’t expect is for Liam to stick to her and Lily like glue until Rose is well and can return home to Cape Hawk. It is during this time that Rose, Lily and Liam finally open up their hearts to what can happen when you allow yourself someone to lean on.

Just when things seem just about perfect, someone from Lily’s past will appear asking questions and needing answers. Is it finally time for Lily to completely let go of the past and move forward into the future?

I’ve been a fan of Rice’s work for some time however this particular novel reinforced just how talented she really is. Her extensive research and vivid descriptions make the reader feel as if they’ve stepped into the world she’s created for them. This particular reader wasn’t quite ready to step back into the world of reality once the story ended. Watch for the sequel to this special book to come out in June entitled Summer of Roses.

Reviewed in May 2005 by Shelby.

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