by Jaclyn Reding

February 2006
ISBN: 0-451-21786-1
Reviewer Graphic Button Signet Books
Mass Market Paperback

Flora MacCallum is dealing with the sudden loss of her husband, Seamus, three years ago. She has had to get on with her life to support her three young children. When a friend asks Flora to leave her home in the Scottish Highlands to run a bed-and-breakfast on the Massachusetts coast, she decides to take a chance on a new adventure for her family. She can even laugh at her brother's admonition to look for a little summer romance.

Gavin Matheson has his own reasons for living in the small town of Ipswich-by-the-Sea. He had a successful career as a composer, but the music died for him after his ex-wife took off with their son during a bitter divorce. When Gavin hears Flora singing on the beach one morning, he begins to see that maybe his life can have new songs and he can have a second chance at happiness.

The author has created a charming heroine in Flora. Flora is strong and mature, but still a woman of great passion and loyalty. Her Scottish brogue are absolutely endearing to those of us who live in America. Her love of family is blended well with romantic love.

Gavin is empathetic with his tenderness and emotional vulnerability. A man who is willing to love a woman with children from a previous marriage is a true hero, in my book.

The story within a story of Rachael Hathaway adds a fun mystical touch to this entertaining novel. The author weaves the legendary tale into the plot in a clever way.

This is my first book Ms. Reding, but it certainly won't be the last. She already has a sizable back list, which I plan to check out and suggest you do, too. I will be looking forward to Spellstruck coming in early 2007 set in the same charming Ipswich-by-the-Sea locale.

Reviewed in October 2006 by Roberta.

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