Sometimes following your heart's desire means you have to choose which desire to follow first. Matthews bundles several stories into this novel, without losing sight of the plight of her heroine. She's written a fresh story that flows and engages.

Fern Kendal's real world has more drama than a made-for-TV movie. Her parents are driving her mad with their most recent separation; she's on constant watch of her brother and ill nephew; and her singing partner, Carl, wants more than just her friendship.

When Fern's wages at her job as a barmaid/singer in an English pub don't seem to be adding up fast enough, she lands a job as a temporary personal assistant for world-renowned opera star Evan David. He has an aversion to anything that might damage his voice (i.e., anything fun), and his snooty temperament has Fern running back to her hole-in-the-wall bar job every night for relief. Yet, somehow, the two find love. In Fern, Evan sees hope and passion. In Evan, Fern sees dedication and perseverance. Together they may find their own version of the real world. (Red Dress Ink, Sep., 448 pp., $21.95)
Reviewed by: 
Kristen Foley