Genre: contemporary romance with a ghost
Cover: meh, but the roses are pretty.
Just as Alix Madsen is finishing architecture school, Adelaide Kingsley dies and wills her, for one year, the use of a charming nineteenth-century Nantucked House. The elderly woman’s connection to the Madsen family is a mystery to Alix, who accepts the quirky bequest, in part so she can plan her best friend’s storybook wedding. But Adelaide had a specific task for Alix: to solve the strange disappearance of one of the Kingsley women more than two centuries ago. If that wasn’t troubling enough, Alix must contend with the arrogant (and extremely good-looking) architect, Jared Montgomery. The chemistry between them is undeniable. But Jared harbors secrets, which, if revealed, may drive a wedge between the pair. With a glorious Nantucket wedding on the horizon, sparks fly, and ghosts reveal themselves – some of them literally. Finding their lives entwined with the turbulent fortunes of their ancestors, Alix and Jared discover that only by righting the wrongs of the past can they hope to be together.
Another author whose books I have been reading since my early teens is Jude Deveraux. Who hasn’t read and fallen in love with one of her historical Montgomery or Taggert heroes? This series takes place in Nantucket, and I would certainly love to wander around there someday.
Alix Madsen is a young architect, with lots of talent and a great future ahead of her. She is working on her final piece for her degree, but first she will spend a year on Nantucket. A woman she doesn’t know has left her the use of her house for a year, and a task to complete. But when Alix finds out that the house should belong to her idol, the famous architect Jared Montgomery Kingsley the Seventh, all she can think about is impressing him, so he will hire her as an associate to his firm in New York.
When she finally meets Jared and he pretends to be just Mr. Kingsley, she is severely disappointed. Of course she knows him on sight; she has been studying his work and has been to one of his lectures. So when her father finds out, he interferes for her, and makes Jared apologize and make up for it. Alix doesn’t know that both her parents have been frequent guests on the island, and are very well acquainted with Jared and his family. Her mother is a famous romance author, and she has been spending a month each summer in this very same house, reading Jared’s family’s journals, and plotting her books around those stories. Her father is a good architect and builder as well, and he was the one who thought Jared all he knows, and put him on the path to become an architect, with Alix’ mother financing it all.
Still, Jared really liked Alix, and he doesn’t mind after all to show her around and introduce her to his family and favourite places to be. And when they start working together on some of his designs, a slow romance is born. While Alix is staying in the house, Jared is staying in the guesthouse, as he has been doing for many years.
I have very mixed feelings about this book. I did like Alix and some other characters a lot. Alix is honest and she works hard, and is not afraid to try anything. She is trying to put together a lovely wedding for her best friend, who is being terrorized by both her own mother as her future mother-in-law who completely take over the planning according to their own wishes.
What I really did not like, was that everyone kept secrets from Alix, for no apparent reasons. I simply don’t get why she could not know that both her parents (who are divorced) spend a lot of time on Nantucket Island, and what they did there. And then Jared, who is keeping the ghost of his great-great-grandfather a secret as well, and who is very jealous of the ghost, especially when Alix finally sees him and spends a little time with him. I thought it ridiculous how he whisked her out of the house, and refuses to talk about anything she discovered.
I had hoped for more searching for the secret of the disappearance of Valentina, and how Alix discovers something in the papers in the attick. But most time the focus was on Jared, and how he was feeling.
So the book was a little off for me. Still, Jude’s writing style kept me reading, but everything that happened kept me from really falling for this couple and enjoying their romance. The good thing is, there are many secondary characters in this book whom I want to know more about and perhaps see them finding their significant other. I still look forward to reading the second book in this series. I am guessing on a Taggert hero, who is also the crown prince of Lanconia … so this will be very interesting.
© 2015 Reviews by Aurian