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Elderly German immigrant, Jacob Boompah Junglemeyer and Nikolai Hayes, an eight-year-old Romanian adoptee, are unlikely comrades, but team up to save the cherished home of his mothers deceased friend.

Archeitect, Zachary Chalmers inherits the declining mansion from his estranged aunt and plans to tear it down. But Elizabeth Hayes envisions it home for herself and son Nick; it is the perfect local for her antique shop, FINDERS KEEPERS.

Although all Zachary really wants is a home of his own. He imagines settling down in this quaint town, and doesnt reckon on falling in love with Elizabeth. As he softens to her idea of restoring the Painted Lady, a somewhat-seedy councilman works towards his own ends and tries to get the house condemned. When Zachary and Elizabeth fight back, he discovers a family secret that may tip the scales in their favor.

Although the plot lumbers and conflict lacks strong tension, Catherine Palmer creates a sweet romance with Mayberry charm. The novel should please the nostalgic at heart. (Sep., 300pp., $9.99)

Reviewed by: 
Roberta Updegraff