"A beautiful fantasy romance"
Though it is February, Odd Alice swims the icy waters of
Lake Riley high in the Georgia Mountains as if it is a
summer day. Her idyllic watery solace ends with a splash
and a vision. She rescues a child who fell into the lake
and Griffin Randolph, the treasure seeker starring in her
vision who faces death from an underwater explosion near
Spain until just Alice pleaded with him to breath.
Because the child she saved is related to the Governor,
Alice becomes a publicized hero with the Bonaviendier
siblings attending the ceremony and claiming she is one of
them. They prove their contention as they share the same
webbed feet. Alice visits the three sisters at their
Sainte's Point Island home where she also meets Griffin.
As Alice begins to learn about her mermaid heritage, she
and Griffin fall in love, but their families have been
feuding for quite awhile as landlubbers and water people
have never mixed.
ALICE AT HEART is a tremendous opening book of what appears
to be the beginnings of a long delightful series starring
the residents of Sainte's Point and the across the bay town
of Bellemeade. The story line predominately focuses on a
first person account by Alice, but does switch to third
person accounts of other prime players deftly handled by
Deborah Smith so that the audience obtains a deeper
understanding of the cast. Though the tale suffers from
the first novel syndrome of introducing the entire universe
in one sitting, Ms. Smith provides a powerful and absorbing
novel that at its heart is simply fun to read.
Reviewed by PNR Group Member
Posted November 10, 2002
Shy, charming, peculiar, and web-toed, Alice Riley has
suffered for years at the hands of her dead mother's self-
righteous family, while she hides a bevy of secret
abilities. When Alice rescues a drowning child, her amazing
talents are exposed. Alice can remain underwater for
extraordinary periods of time, and she can locate submerged
objects through some type of natural sonar ability. Her new
fame/notoriety puts Alice in the national news, amidst
allegations that she has somehow faked or manipulated the
rescue for her own glory. Alice is trapped and desperate
until three amazing older women arrive in her hometown.
They are the regal and flamboyant Bonavendier sisters--
dignified Lilith, acerbic Mara, and whimsical Pearl--of
Sainte's Point Island, their ancestral home off the
coast of Georgia. They've read Alice's story in
the news and are convinced that she is their long-lost (and
much younger) half sister, conceived in a reckless
seduction their elderly father confessed to before he died.
Like Alice, the Bonavendier sisters have webbed toes and
certain amazing abilities, though none of them have
Alice's marked talent for finding things underwater.
Alice is no oddity to them. They explain that--like them--
she is descended from a mermaid.