Almost 20 years after a psychic predicted she would marry a man named Ethan, a woman ready to give up on love meets the man of her dreams in Barnes’ debut novel.
Gina’s childhood friend, Neesha Patel, has a grandmother, Ajee, who’s reputed to have a psychic “gift.” She correctly predicted, for example, that Gina would break her arm and take a trip to Italy and that Neesha would move away from their town before the two girls started high school. “Her predictions came true too many times,” as Neesha puts it—except for one, in which Ajee foresaw that Gina would marry a man named Ethan. Gina, now 36, still hasn’t found this Ethan, and she faces pressure from her aging parents, who think that Ajee ruined her life with her prediction. After a blizzard strands Gina in her car, her serendipitous rescue by a man named Ethan Gregory seems to signal the end of her wait. Then she finds out that Ethan comes with some unexpected baggage, and although she’s desperate to live out Ajee’s prophecy and start a family, she thinks that this man might not be the one that the old woman predicted after all. Barnes’ charming protagonist is likable and relatable and well-supported by her two best friends—co-worker Luci Corrigan Chin and Neesha, whom Gina contacts following Ajee’s death even though the two haven’t spoken in almost 20 years. The author weaves these complex friendships into the narrative, giving extra dimension to what might have otherwise been a flat courtship story. She combines elements of romance and suspense as she slowly unravels Gina’s destiny, throwing in the dashing character of Cooper Allen, Gina’s co-worker, to complicate her relationship with Ethan. The novel’s surprising twist gives the story a satisfying conclusion that makes Gina’s struggle to find Mr. Right worth the wait.
Fans of romantic beach reads will find that this book’s charismatic heroine makes it an engrossing page-turner.