Nightingale Way
by Emily March
(Ballantine, $7.99, PG) ISBN 978-0345-52878-0
***
Emily March, who has also written as Geralyn Dawson, gives us the fifth in her series about Eternity Springs, Colorado - a series with an angel who helps couples who seem to need some divine intervention to get it together. Not having read the other tales will not be a problem in following this story. Fans of the series will be gifted with cameos and, in some cases, starring roles in this story about Jack Davenport and his ex-wife Catherine Blackburn.

The story opens with Jack kidnapping Cat in order to protect her from danger - she is a writer who has just broken a story about dogfighting that has caused problems for everyone from a senator to a highly popular singer. In addition, her mother Melinda, who is also Jack's boss, works for the CIA and there is a possibility that one of her enemies is targeting her only daughter.

Jack takes Cat to his home in Eternity Springs. All of the homes have nifty names - Eagles Way, Cougar's Lair and Nightingale Cottage. Jack's name in the CIA is Eagle and he calls Cat his nightingale. Cat is not thrilled that Jack has kidnapped her and blames it on her mother, who she loves but has never understood. The fact that Jack is still working for her mother brings back all the old hurts from their marriage. Jack and Cat have been divorced for several years. They had a great start to their marriage, but Jack's constant travel for his work and the loss of their child when he was away were two of the major issues that led to their divorce.

They have a lot of unfinished business - they have never really dealt with the death of the daughter, since when Jack returned from his mission, Cat was in the midst of postpartum and grief depression. Jack was stoic, something Cat interpreted as cold. In addition, Cat struggled with Jack's work for her mother, someone she saw as a cold, unloving woman. Jack knew that Melinda loved her daughter and could never understand why the two could not see it.

While at Eagle's Way, the two start to remember why they fell in love. They even start having some conversations that opens up the hurts from all those years ago. And the town of Eternity Springs, along with a resident Angel - Celeste Blessing - helps them heal.

This is an entertaining story that centers on the characters. There is no real action or activity other than what is happening in the town. Cat starts working for the local paper to help her while away the time. We get to know several of the residents, including those who have had stories before and some who will have stories in the future. Cat makes friends with many of Jack's friends. There is even a little side story about the town's history and the "mystery" about Jack and his cousin Cam's family heritage.

This story was engaging while being read, but I didn't feel the strong pull to keep reading into the night or to pick up the book first thing. It is the type of book that will give you some pleasure, but doesn't break any new ground.

However, Nightingale Way will leave you with a warm feeling. Jack and Cat are well matched and their efforts at reconciliation are mature and at times, very romantic. They are a couple to enjoy in a story that will please you.

--Shirley Lyons


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