Multi-talented storyteller Rosalyn Alsobrook serves up the second story in the series that features as its backdrop Maine's magical Seascape Inn.

High-powered business executive Nicolle Stone wants nothing more than to be left alone and to escape the pressure to marry coming from both her father and fellow executive Willett Porterfield. She can't seem to convince Willett that she has no intention of marrying him.

A vacation at the Seascape Inn seems like just the ticket. Unfortunately, before Nicolle even finishes unpacking, she spies Willett. Desperate to make him leave, she grabs fellow vacationer Joel Brandon and begs him to pretend to be her lover. Taken aback, Joel finally agrees to cooperate for the few minutes it will take to drive Willett away. But when the persistent Willett flatly refuses to go, Nicolle and Joel must continue the charade.

Best-selling author Joel Brandon has been suffering from a bad case of burnout and desperately needs a quiet place to recharge his batteries. He is also waiting for his niece and researcher Joy Manning to arrive, so they can get cracking on the new book. While he finds Nicolle very attractive, Joel is disturbed by her propensity to twist the truth. However, after being around Willett for a while, Joel can understand how the man's refusal to accept rejection could drive her to desperate measures.

When Joy arrives, and with the Inn's legendary reputation for providing ghostly help in fostering romance, the townsfolk are quickly making bets on which couple will fall in love first.

Ms. Alsobrook's charming novel, THE PERFECT STRANGER is reminiscent of the old time screwball comedies where mismatches and misunderstanding make for light-hearted fun. (July, 336 pp., $5.99)

Reviewed by: 
Jill M. Smith