Newly married and settled in coastal Farnham, Massachusetts, Sarann Bonniface finally has a steadfast, respectable husband at her side and an elegant roof over her head. Now she intends to concentrate on the most pressing matter at hand: taming her newly rebellious teenager.
Through Sarann is well aware her daughter isn't thrilled to have a new stepfather, it never occurs to her that Abigail might go looking for the birth father she never knew--or that he can even be found. Ben McElwyn is so mired in the myth Sarann created that even she isn't sure who he really was. But she's about to find out...
As Sarann's once idyllic days begin to spin out of control, someone is playing games with her mind, and she no longer trusts anyone around her. Not her resentful daughter. Not her brooding husband. Not Ben. Maybe not even herself...
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A contrived plot and a predictable villain mar Stockenberg's latest tale of romantic intrigue (following Safe Harbor). Sarann Bonniface, whose mother suffered from schizophrenia, wonders if she too is degenerating into madness when she begins experiencing increasingly bizarre instances of forgetfulness. She receives little emotional support from her rich, controlling new husband, Rodger who is chiefly concerned with maintaining his pristine reputation as the headmaster of one of New England's most prestigious boarding schools or from her rebellious 12-year-old daughter, Abby. Barely aware of her mother's distress, Abby is solely concerned with uncovering the identity of her birth father, and through diligent Internet probing, she discovers that her father is a defrocked police officer, now a private investigator, named Ben McElwyne. Ben's reappearance and his growing affection for Sarann and his daughter is the primary strength of this story, and Rodger's heavy-handed ploy to alienate Sarann from her daughter for his own devious means merely detracts from this more compelling plot thread. Although Stockenberg is skilled at portraying complex family relationships, this novel's weak characterizations and predictable plot will do little to earn her a wider readership.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.Review:
"Antoinette Stockenberg is pure magic."--Susan Elizabeth Phillips
"Ms. Stockenberg takes her place alongside LaVyrle Spencer as a writer of depth and preception."--Under the Covers Book Reviews
"Anotoinette Stockenberg is one of my all-time favorite authors...As far as I'm concerned, [she] is the only writer working today who could bean heir to Mary Stewart's romantic suspense crown."--Teresa Medeiros
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