Setting: A small town on the Oregon Coast
Art gallery owner Octavia Brightwell turns down six dates with handsome Nick Harte before she finds the courage to say "yes." She knows that not only does Nick have a "no-commitment" reputation, but he's also a member of one of Eclipse Bay's foremost families. Octavia, on the other hand, is the niece of the infamous woman who started a feud between Nick's grandfather and another prominent family, the Madisons, years ago. Sheer attraction wins out, however, and after one date, Nick is determined to make Octavia more than his dinner partner. Before the two have time to explore their relationship, a valuable painting is stolen from Octavia's art gallery and when the town names her as the prime suspect, she turns to Nick to solve the mystery. The investigation unravels an old scandal, heals a broken friendship, and forces Nick and Octavia to face and resolve the passionate attraction that binds them.
In this third tale in Jayne Ann Krentz's trilogy about life and love in a small town on the Oregon Coast, readers get to revisit the quirky characters that populate Eclipse Bay. The supporting cast also includes the fascinating members of the Harte and Madison families who starred in prior books. While the mystery element in the plot is light, the banter between hero and heroine is fun, and watching these two tread warily through the land mine-strewn road of their developing relationship is a pleasure. --Lois Faye Dyer
From Publishers Weekly
The final installment in Krentz's Eclipse Bay trilogy (Dawn in Eclipse Bay, etc.) centers around thriller writer Nick Harte, the handsome scion of one of the tiny town's most prominent families. In the two years since the death of his wife, single dad Nick hasn't even been tempted to let a woman get close. But when he meets gallery owner Octavia Brightwell, his defenses finally crumble. Though she can't deny Nick's many attractions, Octavia herself is far from avid for romance. Then a valuable painting disappears from her gallery's safekeeping, and the local rumor mill suggests that Octavia herself is the culprit. Figuring that a man who writes about criminal investigation is the closest to a private eye that Eclipse Bay has to offer, Octavia enlists Nick to help discover the real culprit. Along the way, he has plenty of opportunities to scrutinize the town's weirder inhabitants and form a relationship with Octavia. Though Krentz's signature comic banter is slightly more subdued here, her playfully intelligent voice retains all of its characteristic charm. Scenes featuring the eccentric townspeople are strained at times, but the lighthearted warmth of the romantic sequences and the appearances of Nick's precocious son, Carson a wonderful combination of budding tycoon and ordinary five-year-old boy more than make up for the occasional lull.
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