The second book in the Friday Harbor series, published February 28, 2012. I like this cover, but mine is prettier, it has a sunset.
Lucy Marinn is a glass artist living in mystical, beautiful, Friday Harbor, Washington. Creatively fulfilled and engaged to be married, she is content with her life, until she is stunned by the worst kind of betrayal: her fiancé Kevin announces he’s leaving Lucy to be with her younger sister.
Facing the disapproval of Lucy's parents, Kevin asks his friend Sam Nolan, one of the owners of the Rainshadow vineyard, to "romance" Lucy and help her get over her anger. But then Sam and Lucy begin to fall in love and things become complicated, especially when Kevin starts to have second thoughts. And as Lucy discovers that the new relationship in her life began under false pretences, her world is shattered, and she is forced to question everything.
Warning: this blurb is so totally wrong!
The book starts with Lucy as a young child. One night, her younger sister Alice gets very sick and is rushed to the hospital. Lucy has to stay with a neighbour, and there she sees some glass for the first time. She is not allowed to touch anything, but the loves how the colors seem alive inside the glass. Alice recovers from her illness, but her mother especially, can’t say no to her anymore. Everything that Alice wants, Alice gets. She can do no wrong, and Lucy will have to give in.
But when she has her first science project for school, she wants to do something with glass, and her father, who is a scientist working for NASA has got to help her, as her mother is busy for Alice and her class. Her father doesn’t really want to spend so much time on his daughter, but he is surprised with her. And Lucy knows what she wants to do with herself, after they have been to a company where they blow glass and make sculptures and such. She will be working with glass. And when her father points out that only the very best can make a living out of being an artist, she is determined to become a very good one.
Years later, Lucy is a happy artist, living on San Juan Island, near Boston, in a small town called Friday Harbor. She has been living together with her boyfriend Kevin for two years now, and is happy. So when he barges in her studio to break up with her, she is completely stymied. She did not have a clue that he was unhappy with her and their relationship. Apparently, she crowded him, suffocated him. And he has been having an affair with her sister since Christmas … Lucy will need to move out of their house, as he wants Alice to move in with him. He is in love with Alice.
Lucy is numb. How could they both betray her behind her back? She is not at all surprised at what Alice did though, after all, what Alice wants, Alice gets. Be it her clothes, loaning money she never gives back, and now her boyfriend. And the house they so lovingly decorated together, buying little things here and there, she has to give over to her sister? What about their friends?
Lucy has to get some fresh air, and takes her vintage bike out to a biking trail across the island. Contemplating what to do, and if there were no signs to see. Sitting on a big rock, she suddenly spots a big man with an ugly dog coming her way, so she decides to leave. Is he following her? Not looking where she goes, she falls, and hurts her hands. And the stranger is kind enough to walk with her to his car, where he has a first help kit. He also offers to bring her and her bike where she needs to go. Such a nice man, and the worst possible time of meeting one. She admits to just being dumped, and not wanting to have anything to do with a man for a while. But Sam is intrigued by her quiet beauty and her behaviour, and would like to meet her again. She doesn’t even want to give her his name, and just rides away on her bike.
Luckily, Lucy still has two very good friends in Zoë and Justine, who run a bed and breakfast. She can stay with them as long as necessary. Which is a good thing, as it is not easy finding an apartment in her price range. And she will finally have to call her parents, knowing that Alice would have told her story already. To Lucy’s amazement, for the very first time, her mother does not approve of Alice her behaviour. They never did like Kevin, but for Alice to just steal him from Lucy is too much. Lucy doesn’t believe her own ears! For the first time her mother takes her side? But soon after that, her mother is taking the blame of Alice’s actions. If only she …
A few weeks later, she runs into Sam again. And when he learns she is looking for a place to live, he offers her his brother’s condo. The people who have rented it before have left, and as Marc is not going back to live there, he needs a new tenant. Of course, Lucy is afraid to she can’t afford such a nice waterfront place, but she works out a deal with Sam. She will make a beautiful glass stained window for his old Victorian house, and she will get a nice deal on the rent.
To Sam’s amazement, Kevin shows up unexpectedly, asking a favor of him.
Alice wants to get married, but her parents won’t pay for it, so in her eyes, Lucy needs to get over it, and find her self a new boyfriend. If their parents think Lucy is fine, they will relent and help plan the wedding and everything. So Kevin asks Sam to take her out a couple of times. After all, Sam owes him for helping out earlier. When Sam finds out who is supposed to court, he says nothing at all to Kevin about knowing the lady already. He pretends to agree, and then tells Lucy everything.
But then Lucy gets overrun by a car and gets wounded. She cannot walk for a few days, and will need help. Her friends at the inn won’t be capable to carry her, and help her, and so Justine calls in Sam. Which is very awkward for both parties. Sam will have to help her with intimate things, when they have not even had sex yet. But there really is no other choice.
How is this going to work out, a woman badly burned, not wanting another relationship, as she apparently is not relationship material. And a man with such a scarred past, he sees marriage as the worst thing ever. He has never even spend the night with a woman, he will not commit to anyone. But they are so attracted to each other, so right. Can they have a relationship without commitments? Without falling in love? And they both have magic in their fingers …
I really liked this story. I am amazed how Lucy turned out after always being the last in her parents thoughts and affections, and having to deal with such a cold and calculating spoiled sister. She is a good person, a great artist. Sam is gorgeous, hardworking, and he does what he can for his young niece Holly. I really liked the little details about being a wine-farmer and all the work that is needed, throughout the story. And of course the little bits of knowledge about glass. I would have liked to see Lucy’s work for real. This was a really nice contemporary romance, no big misunderstandings, great characters. I love Lisa Kleypas writing style in this series and her quiet sense of humor.
The ending was a real surprise though, what Kevin did.
The little pieces of magic in the story, I have no idea what to think of it. I love magic in all its forms, but it has no real place in the story, it would have worked fine without it.
For details about little Holly, how Marc and Sam became her guardians, see the previous book: Christmas Eve at Friday Harbor.