Genre: contemporary romance
At Alix Madsen and Jared Montgomery's grand Nantucket wedding, all eyes are on the happy couple - except for those of Graydon Montgomery. Jared's cousin can't look away from Toby Wyndham, the bridesmaid with the bluebell eyes. It's not just her classic beauty that enthrals him or the way she's not afraid to speak her mind. Toby can tell Graydon and his identical twin brother, Rory, apart - to her, they're as different as night and day. According to Montgomery family legend, this marks Toby as Graydon's True Love. But wedding bells aren't in the cards for Toby and Graydon, as he is the heir to the Lanconian throne and must marry a noblewoman. Nevertheless, Graydon is intrigued by fiery, down-to-earth Toby. When he asks her to hide him on Nantucket for a week to escape his royal responsibilities, she agrees on one condition: friendship and nothing else. But there's more going on between them - forces beyond their control, ruled by time itself. Combine that with the magical island of Nantucket, and a seductive spell is cast over Graydon and Toby. If they are to be together, they must change what once was, as well as what will be.
As you know, I am a big fan of Jude Deveraux, and have been for 30 years now. And I was really disappointed with the first book in this series, but not with this one.
I was excited when I read the blurb, and discovered that Graydon is the heir to the Lanconian throne. I really enjoyed the books where this country featured in, so long ago. Graydon is almost engaged to a woman his mother chose for him, and he is ready to do his duty. Until he meets Toby, who can tell him apart from his twin brother. And so, for the first time, the roles are changed. This time it is not Graydon covering for Rory, but Rory pretending to be Gray. It will only be for one week, but Gray wants this time to be with Toby. She doesn't offer him anything more but friendship, as she is not into casual relationships, but he will take it.
Until Rory breaks his arm, his father has a heart attack, and the charade must continue.
When Toby is not showing Graydon around the island, Graydon is helping her with the preparations for the wedding of Victoria, the mother of her best friend Alix Madsen. As always, Victoria is very demanding, and nothing they think of is good enough to please her. When Graydon's two bodyguards arrive, they don't know what to think of Toby at first, but they quickly become friends and tell Toby more about their country and its customs.
The empty house opposite of Toby's is beckoning to her though, and when she sees the door open one night, she goes inside to look for intruders. And once inside, she falls into a vision of the past, just like Alix did in the first book. A past where all the current characters play their part. A past that is heartbreaking, and she wants to change it. And together with Gray, her doomed love from back then, they will find a way … but will their love in the present time have a chance to be? Graydon knows his duty is to marry the woman waiting for him back home, and become the next ruler of Lanconia. He was raised for that job, and he takes it seriously. If he comes back on his word, her powerful father will stop supporting the country and they can't afford that.
I really enjoyed this book, and I like the paranormal aspects of this series, where they go back in time, or have visions that are real lifelike. It adds a lot of depth to the story, and a sense of "meant to be" to their love story. And yes, I do like the idea of the "one woman who can tell you apart from your twin brother is your one true love". Graydon is so torn between his duty to his country and the woman he is supposed to marry, and to the woman he is falling in love with. He loves being just a man on the island, instead of the Prince, and living in a glass house where everything he does is being scrutinized.
And Toby can't help but falling for him, even though she does not intend to do so. She knows he can never be hers.
The one thing I could not believe in, was Gray's feelings towards his mother especially, how he was treated all his life, and how she acted in the end of the book. That so did not match. He described her as cold and putting duty before everything, and never having time for him and his brother. So no, that was confusing.
The secondary storyline with Toby's roommate Lexie and her boss Roger Plymouth was fun to read as well. I would not mind to read about them in a novella and learn more details.
I really liked this book and I do look forward to reading the next one.
© 2015 Reviews by Aurian