Thursday, September 27, 2007

Unforgettable - Julie Ortolon

Julie Ortolon
Signet Eclipse

Contemporary Romance

Riley Stone spent a very unhappy childhood in Hope, Texas, and couldn’t wait to leave it. Her mother, an alcoholic, dumped Riley with her disapproving grandmother and left. Taunted and ostracized by the other kids, Riley nurtured a love of music. She also nurtured an unrequited love for Jackson Hope, son of the family that owns the town and land. Unknown to Riley, Jackson was feeling much the same way.
When Riley left for Austin, she thought she was leaving for good. But the death of her grandmother brought her back to the place she still thinks of as home; back to the same sharecropper’s house inhabited by generations of her family. Over time, Hope has been turned into a tourist destination, although business has been falling off lately. Even so, Riley loves her familiar house and the job she has as a singer at the local restaurant and lounge.

Jackson, who will inherit Hope from his father, spent the intervening years becoming a lawyer in Austin. He’s as shocked to see the grown-up Riley as she is to see him. The two attempt to avoid one another, but are thrown together over the issue of tearing down the now-closed dance hall. Jackson is determined to stop the town from falling into bankruptcy and wants to rebuild. Riley knows and loves the history of the place and wants it to stay. As usual, the two are on opposite sides. And, as usual, those sides are not nearly as incompatible as Riley and Jackson might think.

Both main characters are drawn as individuals who have lived very different lives, but share a history and a sense of purpose. Both are intelligent but guarded. It’s fun to watch the two of them spar while they come to realize their true feelings. The history of the town is fascinating, too, and is woven inextricably into the fabric of the story. This is a sweet story about two good people getting a second chance in life.

Rating: 7
September 2007
ISBN# 978-0-451-22204-6 (paperback)


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