|Here is a story that starts off strong, bogs down in the middle half and then ends decently. For this reader, the hero was a bit too uncertain and sly, the heroine just a bit self-pitying and the storyline a little too much like too many other stories set in small town America.
Savannah Perry grew up in foster homes and landed in Whisper’s Edge - a retirement community outside Cincinnati. She was “adopted” by the community, particularly the manager of the property, Kate Winston, and the many colorful elderly people who inhabit a fairly rundown retirement community. Savannah has little education, wild red hair and poor self-esteem from growing up feeling like no one ever wanted her. She is smart though, a little eccentric but overall a nice energetic put a happy face on it kind of person.
In walks Tristan McMillan, grandson to the absentee curmudgeon of an owner. Tristan grew up with a hateful grandfather and a wonderful single mother. His grandfather never forgave his only daughter for getting pregnant while unmarried and he has taken it out on Tristan over the years. Tristan is a lawyer and is very successful. He bought Whisper’s Edge, a place he remembers as a summer camp, and he wants to sell it and/or find investors to build on it. This was to show his grandfather.
But when Tristan shows up out of the blue, everyone including Kate and Savannah assume he is their savior and they treat him like a hero. How can he tell them he is selling the property when they think he is there to save the day? Tristan and Savannah hit it off right away and McLane uses some quirky episodes (in this case it involves a dog, a pool and a fake rescue) to liven up the story. It takes Tristan and Savannah time to actually have a relationship beyond stumbling over their words whenever they see the other.
Kate gets a romance too, with a widower who is actually a nice romantic leading man – the gentle working man that has some vulnerability too. But the story revolves around Tristan and Savannah. For this reader, the story was at a snail’s pace and there was the “secret” in the background that everyone knew, including Tristan that Savannah would be devastated to lose the only home she has really ever known.
In addition, I didn’t like either Savannah or Tristan enthusiastically. There were times when their vulnerabilities made them whiny and unattractive. There was nothing really going on either…except exploration of life in the retirement community to help sell the fact that its loss would be heartbreaking.
Luann McLane has written better stories and if you want to read a fun tale, read some of her past successes.