A young widow and a handsome cop have a chance to rekindle a fledgling romance from their high school years—as long as their pride doesn’t get in the way.
Jennifer Stoddard, still reeling from the death of her husband a year earlier, suddenly has to return to her hometown of Bloomingvale to claim the inheritance her grandmother left her—a dilapidated Victorian house and more than $2 million, which she gets only if she agrees to live in the house for two years. Jennifer isn’t sure she wants to live in Bloomingvale again. It would mean being near her estranged mother, who was cut out of the will, and uprooting her 8-year-old son, Aaron, from their home in New York City. On top of that, she keeps having run-ins with the chief of police, Grant Coleman, the high school crush who stood her up on their first date. She wants to have nothing to do with him, but when she becomes the victim of several anonymous threats, Grant has to get involved. The book is equal parts mystery and romance, each part being equally predictable. Despite Jennifer's dislike of and attraction to Grant, none of their interactions contain any tension, sexual or otherwise. The dialogue has a stilted quality reminiscent of the old Nancy Drew books, which is great fun for kids but unsatisfying for adults. Jennifer, who hasn’t worked as a biochemist since Aaron was born, has too little to do in this book. Even her renovations are being done for her, by Grant’s nicer brother, Rob. A secondary storyline in which Rob romances Jennifer’s best friend, Maryann, is only slightly more engaging.
The fantasy of inheriting an old Victorian and $2 million has its appeal. It’s a shame readers can’t vicariously enjoy it through the eyes of a more interesting heroine.