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REVIEW

"Gripping tale of the healing power of love"

Elizabeth Riley is a widowed school nurse on vacation for the summer, and traveling cross-country from her daughter's home in California to her home in New York, ostensibly as a change of pace and to see the country. Her daughter, a new mother herself and the reason Liz has traveled to California to help out, isn't so sure about her mother's reasoning and is worried about her traveling so far all alone. She has every reason for concern. Liz doesn't want to see the countryside as much as she wants to escape the feelings of loneliness that approaching fifty has brought. Never in her wildest dreams, however, did she ever think she'd find her heart's desires on the road, in the form of a man young enough to be her son!

Robert is the still-grieving widower who lets Liz in out of the rain when she loses control of her car on a mountain road and crashes into a ditch. He is a man used to his solitude and having things in his quaint home just so. Liz's sudden arrival disrupts the status quo and, initially, Robert is reluctant to allow her entry into his cottage, but quickly relents.

The pair settles into each other's company easily enough as Liz warms up with hot coffee and good conversation from her host. The torrential rain outside, a power outage and a nasty bump on her head from the accident, all contribute to Robert's insisting that she stay in his home overnight or at least until the power comes back on. Robert's own vehicle is in the repair shop in town. The walk to town is a treacherous several-mile hike that Liz would be crazy to risk in the weather. Feeling strangely safe in the cottage and, despite her host's relative unfamiliarity, safe in Robert's company, Liz agrees to stay. Her host's kindness far outweighs all his idiosyncrasies, the least of which is his not having a working clock anywhere in the cottage.

Robert sets Liz up for the night in his dead wife's room. Like every other room in the cottage, it is cozy, inviting and quaint, and with Elise's presence and feminine stamp clearly imprinted on every item. Rather than feeling like an invader in the room, Liz has a weird sense of having come home.

The next morning brings realization that puts a new spin on life as Liz knows it and makes ever leaving the cottage a difficult proposition. Not only is she falling for the cottage's young owner, Liz has fallen under the magical spell of the cottage and has returned to her youth, now as young as her twenty-something host. At first skeptical and upon investigation, Liz discovers that her new youthful state is not just a figment of her imagination, but a direct effect of being in the cottage and on Robert's property. Should she leave the cottage or its property, however, the youthful spell is automatically broken.

An older woman with grown children, Liz has difficult choices to make: remain at the cottage, living a lie and lying to the man she loves; or allowing him to see her outside the boundary of the cottage's magic and risk his not being able to handle the discovery of their enormous differences in age.

Most of the book, as seen through the eyes of Liz, is a May- December romance. However Liz and Robert are so evenly matched in every way that counts -- emotionally, psychologically and spiritually -- that the reader is quickly drawn into the illusion of a youthful couple falling in love and who have a long future ahead of them. The reality, though miles from the illusion, is no less romantic and hopeful.

Complete with a small-town where everybody knows everyone else and is as fiercely protective as they are friendly and helpful, this is a story that lives up to its title in every way. Not only is the cottage and setting enchanted, but so are the lead characters, the whimsical plot and subplot characters, and the three adorable semi-wild, chocolate-foraging raccoon siblings who add great comic relief and to whom the hero and heroine belong.

Liz and Robert are an evocative sensual couple and share great chemistry. Engaging characters separately and together, they each bring their own grief and loss to the table, but come away with an enduring respect for each other, in general, and for the magic of destiny and love, in particular.

"Enchanted Cottage" was a very enjoyable story and a page- turner all the way to the end. I highly recommend it for anyone whose ever lost their way or forgotten the healing power of love and needs to be reminded that age is truly only a number and state of mind.

Gracie McKeever, Author
For PNR Reviews

Reviewed by Gracie McKeever
Posted April 12, 2003

SUMMARY

When her car breaks down on a deserted mountain road, Liz Riley discovers an enchanted cottage where time stands still. She wakes up to find her youth restored, and her passions ignited by the owner of the cottage--a man she thinks is young enough to be her son. Only when she comes to terms with the fact that age doesn't matter is the true magic of the enchanted cottage revealed.

ENCHANTED COTTAGE is a story for women who may feel their youth slipping away, but not their zest for life, their taste for adventure, or their ability to recognize and appreciate the power of love--at whatever stage it enters their life.

Dorothy Parker Award for Excellence Nominee

ALSO AVAILABLE IN EBOOK FORMAT

 

Enchanted Cottage
by Linda Bleser

Novel Books, Inc.
January 1, 2002
ISBN #1931696578
Trade Size (reprint)
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Other Books by
Linda Bleser

Tales Told by Moonlight
Once In A Blue Moon
The King's Gold
A Little Piece Of Heaven
Brakos@twilight.com
A Little Piece of Heaven
Enchanted Cottage


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