Tuesday, February 19, 2013

A Cottage By The Sea by Ciji Ware

Blyte Barton Stowe has rented a cottage in rural Cornwall for the summer.  After having her messy divorce from award-winning movie director Christopher Stowe splashed across the media in gory detail, all she wants is a chance to get away and evaluate her life.  The fact that the manor house that owns the cottage is named Barton House is appealing.  After all, her grandmother always insisted that their family had ties to the landed gentry in England.  Raised on a ranch in Montana, Blyte doesn't believe that, but its fun to dream about.

Complications soon arrive.  Blyte starts to have visions of the former inhabitants of Barton House, particularly four of the current owner's ancestors.  The Barton estate was combined with that of the neighboring one owned by a family named Tremayne.  The merger was accomplished by the marriage of an earlier Blyte Barton to Christopher Tremayne, although her heart belonged to the younger Tremayne son, Ennis.  After a mystery that involved all three disappearing or dying, the estates ended up with a cousin inheriting everything.  This cousin, Garrett Teague is the direct ancestor of the current lord, Jack Teague.  Why does Blyte feel such a strong attachment to people she never even heard of six months before?

Jack is a widower with a young son and is desperately trying to keep the estate going,  Blyte, who was a production creative force in Hollywood, helps Jack develop a business plan to save the estate, and becomes his business partner.  A romance blooms, although there are many issues working against a successful ending.  Can Blyte and Jack become a couple and resolve these issues, both current and those going back for centuries?

Ciji Ware is best known for her historical fiction.  A Cottage By The Sea draws on that strength, while bringing in a mix of other genres.  There is historical fiction, romance and some paranormal aspects such as past life regression.  Readers will be entranced by Ware's careful balancing of the genres to produce a compelling story that will enchant.  This book is recommended for readers in all three genres.

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