"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.

Harriet Klausner

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.


Alice at Heart
(Waterlilies series)
by Deborah Smith

Belle Books
January 1, 2002
Available: January 1, 2002
ISBN #0967303524
EAN #9780967303529
320 pages
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Other Books by
Deborah Smith

Diary of a Radical Mermaid
Summer in Mossy Creek
Charming Grace
Reunion at Mossy Creek
Summer in Mossy Creek
Reunion At Mossy Creek
Sweet Hush
Mossy Creek
Stone Flower Garden
Mossy Creek
Hot Touch

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