dies and bequeaths her the key to a falling-down cottage in Cornwall, Lucy
Westmore is surprised. After all, she scarcely knows her aunt, and her memories
of Heathmore are murky, at best. But even more surprising is the part of Lucy’s
inheritance that doesn’t come with a key: an old leather
journal that provides the details of her mysterious aunt’s life and-for better
or worse-gives Lucy all the instructions she needs to live the life of a
last five years in Cornwall, hiding from his painful past. Nothing has been
tempting enough to lure him back to London…until now. He alone knows the real
value of the property, and he’s determined to buy Heathmore before Miss
Westmore ruins everything and sells it off to the highest bidder.
aunt’s diary, Lucy refuses to sell the property, not even when Lord Branston’s
offers escalate, or when the house turns out to be truly uninhabitable. Lucy
has no intention of giving up her one chance for independence. And Thomas has
no intention of abandoning his suit.
spitfire of a spinster that’s got his heart all tied up? And what is he willing
to offer for both?
Jennifer McQuiston has always preferred reading romance to scientific
textbooks. She resides in Atlanta, Georgia with her husband, their two girls,
and an odd assortment of pets, including the pony she promised her children if
mommy ever got a book deal. Jennifer can be reached via her website at www.jenmcquiston.com or followed on Twitter
Lucy Westmore is about to bite the bullet and endure her debut, when she learns that she has inherited a cottage and some land from her deceased aunt. Lucy only met her aunt once when she was six years old, but is delighted with the inheritance, thinking it may offer her independence, and let her avoid the season and being forced into marriage. Before Lucy even has a chance to formulate a plan, her father informs her that he has sold her cottage. Lucy, being headstrong, and of legal age, writes the supposed buyer, telling him that her father had no legal right to sell the property, and he is not the owner. When she sees no other option, she runs away to inspect the property, in the company of Lord Branston, the would-be-buyer, who had just come to town to call on her to discuss the sale.
Thomas, Lord Branston, was a great friend of Lucy’s aunt, and his intentions for the cottage and land are totally honorable, though circumstances do not make it appear so. He’s a charming and quirky gentleman, who is running from a dark incident in his past. Three years ago, that incident led him to Lizard Bay to try to escape the darkness, the drinking, and his despair. While he attempts to charm the stubborn Lucy, she all but snubs him, and without cause, suspects him of the worst. For me, Lucy is a hard character to like for most of the book. I could understand that she was upset at being forced to have a season and probably marriage, but she treated Thomas very badly. Time and time again, Thomas rescues her, and tries to help her, and she won’t trust him. Truthfully, she is beginning to be very attracted to him, but has no intention of changing her plan to remain a spinster, just like her aunt.
When Lucy’s father catches up with them and plans to take Lucy back to town, Thomas awkwardly proposes, and once again circumstances make him appear to have an ulterior motive, though he is sincere in his feelings for Lucy. This couple has some major obstacles to overcome before they can be together. They both show a lot of growth by the book’s end, as Thomas has to find the courage to face his past, while Lucy has to admit she’s been very wrong about a lot of things. They also have to find a way to save the town they’ve both come to love, as well as finding a way to make their newfound love for each other work. There are some lovely snippets from Aunt E’s diary interspersed among the chapters of the main story that were pure delight. Recommended for those who appreciate character growth, and a somewhat unconventional story.