Tell Me I'm Dreamin'

A Chance on Lovin' You
by Eboni Snoe
(Avon, $5.99, PG) ISBN 0-380-79563-9
It's a long way from Gary, Indiana, to Magic Keys, Florida.

Sasha Townsend was an elementary school teacher who returned to her Indiana hometown after she finished college to care for her ailing mother. Between work and caregiving there wasn't a lot of time to develop a long-term romance. So Sasha settled for a few emotionally detached encounters.

After her mother's death, Sasha learns she has inherited property from her paternal aunt -- a relative whom she had never met. Not expecting much, Sasha visits the area and is immediately taken with its serene beauty. Relocating to Florida will give her a fresh start.

It isn't until Sasha moves into Bethel House on Magic Key, that she discovers that while she may have inherited the house, she didnít inherit the land on which it stands. It seems Bethel House is located in the midst of the Ellis family estate. A 100-year-old agreement between the two families threatens Sasha's plans for distributing bottled water from a spring near Bethel House. The agreement also brings her into direct confrontation with Cay Ellis, III, scion of the Ellis family.

Although Cay and Sasha are attracted to each other, the agreement isn't the only thing standing in the way of their budding relationship. Widow Sherry Ellis has plans for her brother-in-law and Guana Manor that don't include Sasha. There is Cay's guilt over the death of his wife, sabotage at Sasha's house and rumblings about a generations-old Ellis curse.

A Chance on Lovin' You is classic Eboni Snoe. An ordinary woman is thrown into extraordinary circumstances in an exotic locale with a brooding male. There's always a touch of the paranormal. That is not to say that A Chance on Lovin' You is formulaic. Snoe has crafted an engaging story of two people who have never made an emotional commitment discovering love together. The relationship between Cay and Sasha, despite the many distractions is believable. It is interesting to watch them both take chances on love.

Bahamian culture, island intrigues and a hint of obeah provide wonderful backdrops to the story. A Chance on Lovin' You is also a tale about the impact of caste, class and color on several generations of two families.

A Chance on Lovin' You is an engaging romance that holds the reader's interest until the end. At that point, the novel is hampered by resolutions that seem too pat and a few unanswered questions. There are references to the Fountain of Youth and the lost city of Atlantis that are left to the reader's imagination. That said, A Chance on Lovin' You is worth a chance.

--Gwen Osborne

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