Sophie Davis thinks she's finally found a place where she can live happily while caring for her mother and her sullen teenage half-sister. Leaving New York for Vermont, Sophie plans on opening a country inn. Her new residence needs a lot of work, but not even the fact that her home was once the sight of a grisly murder, one of three in the town, is going to crush her dreams.
Then a mysterious stranger moves in next door. John Smith rubs Sophie the wrong way from the moment she learns of his existence, and when she meets him, his surly manner does nothing to improve her opinion.
John Smith has his reasons for constantly running in to Sophie, one of which is his need to gain access to her inn. Determined to complete his "mission," John fights to remain focused, despite his reluctant involvement with three women who are staying at the inn.
Ms. Stuart is a master of suspenseful storytelling. She creates characters of great depth, who are easy to relate to and sometimes downright entertaining. There is a certain element to her writing that makes for a tremendously fun and fast read. (Aug., 384 pp., $6.50)