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Tuesday, August 16, 2011

August Pick: Jude Deveraux's HEARTWISHES: AN EDILEAN NOVEL

The amazing Jude Deveraux - the author of forty New York Times bestsellers - has ‘hit’ yet another one ‘out of the park!’

Readers go on a journey with Gemma Ranford - a PhD candidate who wants desperately to help a family in rural Virginia to catalog their English history. She is also looking for a good topic for her own dissertation so that she earn PhD status, and get a good job teaching. This will be a very formidable undertaking, as Mrs. Peregrine Frazier has purchased from her husband’s family estate in England several hundred boxes full of documents that date back to the sixteenth century.

This amazing family was made up of the Earls of Rypton, and lived in the estate during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I. Mrs. Frazier wants to see if her husband has the right to call himself Earl, and she would very much like to have the title of ‘Lady’ Krypton - which is the real reason behind this incredibly large project. The job will take at least two years and there is a beautiful guest house on the property that Gemma will be able to live in. Also, as an extra added incentive, this family has three unmarried sons who are, shall we say, very handsome and very interesting.

Gemma throws herself into her new job with enthusiasm. One of the first things she discovers in the wealth of papers, are references to something called the ‘Heartwishes Stone.’ This legendary ’gem’ is said to grant wishes to anyone named Frazier. Gemma writes it off as legend at first but, as she spends more and more time with the family and begins to have feelings for their oldest son, Colin, it becomes clear that this stone does seem to grant wishes. Indeed, many wishes are coming true.

Unfortunately, Gemma isn’t the only one who surmises that wishes are being asked and answered. In fact, there seems to be a thief in the area who is keeping track of the wishes and is on the hunt for the stone and/or Gemma, herself. Gemma and Colin need to find this stone and make sure it doesn’t fall into the wrong hands. And the journey that ensues is a truly fun, exciting, and slightly haunting story.

There are other books in the Edilean series, but the bestselling Deveraux, with her always amazing talent, has made sure that this book stands alone in the plot and characters. The families in the story are very believable and the author’s path joins family history and passion, with a little magic thrown in for good measure. A really unforgettable tale by the ‘mistress of romantic suspense’ that will enchant readers of all genres.

Reviewed by Amy Lignor

Rating: 4 1/2

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