This is a very readable, if predictable, conclusion to the Wolcott Mansion heiress series. Although the storyline is an oft-told tale about second chances, Andersen’s skilled rendition will leave readers with a sigh of satisfaction.
Ava‘s one sexual experience in high school was the result of a humiliating bet. But she had great friends who are still in her life, and a beloved mentor, Miss Agnes, who left her and her friends a mansion. Now, 13 years later, documentary filmmaker Cade Gallari wants to make a film about Miss Agnes. Surely Ava can get over the fact that Cade was the author of her high school humiliation. She is a grown-up, successful woman now. Cade has tried to apologize to Ava for years. He was a jerk in high school, but he grew into a better man. He has also always been fascinated with the iconoclastic Miss Agnes and wants to film her story. If he can send some business Ava’s way as well, by renting the mansion from her and hiring her to work on his film, maybe that will earn him a little forgiveness. The wrinkle in this plan comes when he sees Ava. It is very hard to keep his focus on the film and not allow his thoughts to drift toward second-chance dreams. (HQN, Aug., 336 pp., $7.99)