Book Review

by Jane Toombs

Genre: Historical Romance
Sensuality: MILD
Setting: 1890s California

RT Rating

In this first-person narrative, the absurd naivete of the orphan Esma, coupled with a cache of romance cliches (kidnapping, amnesia, ghosts, the adulterous wife and more), lends this tale a forced storytelling quality. Character motivations and personalities are blatant with no mystery or depth. Toombs never moves beyond stereotypical stock characters. The romance between Esma and Stephen lacks intensity because there are too many problems competing for attention. However, the relationship between Esma and Alisette shines with genuine love.

Orphan Esma Drake
has just arrived at Seacliff House
as the new nurse for 5-year-old
Alisette. Seacliff House isn't a
happy place. Alisette's mother
ignores her, her father, Stephen, is missing and presumed dead at sea
and there are several uneasy accidents
happening around the home that
frighten Esma. Life becomes even
more confusing when Stephen Nikolai returns, with no memory of his life
at Seacliff House. Jealousies, hidden agendas and secrets of the past are revealed as Esma attempts to stay
alive amidst a backdrop of treachery. (, dl $5.00)

Reviewed By: Sarah Wethern


Published: November 2006

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