Hope Parker is married to gorgeous Matt, has two enchanting toddlers (even if little Millie wants to run the family), and a successful job. But childhood insecurities keep Hope worrying that she's not good enough. When Matt suddenly decides to take a sabbatical from his high-paying ad agency and move the family to a tiny cottage in County Kerry, she agrees despite crushing doubts. Strangely, though, it is Matt who flounders in Ireland: The book he's always wanted to write is depressingly wooden, and the writer's life is not all he's dreamed of. Hope, on the other hand, is flourishing in the village of Redlion, falling in with a wonderful pair of Irish women: town pharmacist Mary-Kate and her niece, Delphine, who take Hope and another newcomer, the widowed Virginia Connell, under their wings.
But with Matt growing coldly distant, and her older sister, single career woman Sam, who has always been there by phone and email, having crises of her own, Hope is starting to think she's the only one in the family who's keeping a straight head. Then Christy De Lacy, the hunk who runs the local posh hotel, tries to sweep her off her feet. Hope has spent her life trying to please others. Now she needs to ask what she wants for herself....
Irish writer Kelly (Someone Like You) knows exactly what women want in their contemporary romances-to escape into a world populated by believable characters in search of more satisfying lives sprinkled with romance. Her latest, rich with the emerald allure of the lush Irish landscape and tart with Kelly's sexy, bracing humor, follows four diverse women linked to the charming Kerry town of Redlion. Hope Parker, 37 ("Mrs. Tracksuit Bottom"), is the mother of two, wife of Matt, who is an ad exec/closet novelist and heir of his uncle's Curlew Cottage in Redlion. Hope fears she will lose her handsome husband-("The seven year itch wasn't just an itch; it was a damn outbreak of eczema")-and quickly agrees to accompany him for a year's writing sabbatical during which her marriage is surprisingly challenged by her attraction to another man. Hope's sister, Samantha (Sam) Smith, "teetering on the abyss of 40," is a hip London music mogul, rattled by a doctor's diagnosis and a raging discontent that can be dealt with only when she finally admits what she needs. Virginia Connell, 58, a grieving widow from Dublin, moves to Redlion, takes up golf and finds that there is life after loss. Discontented Irish/Indian Nicole Turner, 23, loves karaoke but dreams of singing professionally. After she's discovered by one of Sam's A & R people, Nicole learns that fame and fortune pale in comparison to her need for independence and love. Surrounding these women are many thoroughly developed supporting characters and sufficient side plots to fuel a sequel. Romance fans should rejoice in this chatty, comfortable story, as warm and satisfying as Irish oatmeal.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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July 05, 2009
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