TRUE LOVE – Jude Deveraux
Nantucket Brides Trilogy , Book 1
eBook ISBN: 978-0-345-54180-2
Contemporary (well, mostly) Romance
Nantucket Island, Massachusetts, the Present
A ghost resides in Kingsley House on Nantucket and has for 202 years, all the while hoping to learn what happened to his true love. Captain Caleb Kingsley had set to sea for one more trading venture to China with neither he nor his Valentina knowing she carried his child. It was a long, disastrous voyage; when he finally returned home, it was to find his Valentina had married his cousin, born a son, and mysteriously vanished. The house was passed down through the family until now it belongs to Caleb's five times great grandson, Jared Montgomery Kingsley, a noted architect and ladies' man. But through his Great Aunt Addy's will, Jared cannot take possession for a year.
The product of divorced parents—her father an architecture professor, her mother a popular novelist—Alixandra Madsen recently graduated with a degree in architecture. She's unexpectedly given one year's use of a house on Nantucket Island, a place she once visited with her mother when four years old. Though she can only vaguely recall that visit, she's delighted by the wonderful houses on the island and strangely affected by the Kingsley place.
Jared owes a lot to both of Alix's parents, so when asked by Ken Madsen to look after his daughter, he can hardly refuse, no matter how unhappy he is about it. He fears she's just another aspiring young hero worshipper who will want him to teach her everything he knows…and he's right, though Alix doesn't yet know that Jared Kingsley is the Jared Montgomery. Nor does she know that both her parents have spent time on the island, though separately. And Jared is supposed to keep her mother's visits a secret.
Two major plotlines and several minor ones run through TRUE LOVE. The first is the captivating relationship between Alix and Jared. The second belongs to the ghost and the mystery of Valentina's disappearance. Most of Caleb's direct descendants are able to see and hear him; Jared has always done so, and even Alix could as a child; perhaps that's why she was chosen to solve the mystery. Caleb has hinted to Jared that time is running out…
The cast of characters, both presently alive and not, is large, but all are interesting. Alix's best friend Izzy accompanies her to the island. She's engaged to be married, and Alix is deeply involved in the planning of the wedding…another strong thread in the fabric of TRUE LOVE. Some of Jared's cousins—of whom there are plenty—take active parts in the story, as well as other islanders. They and the setting are so well done that it's like a virtual tour of Nantucket. (This book would make a terrific movie.)
To sum up, Jude Deveraux has once more created a rich and totally engrossing novel…with the promise of two more to come.