Cathy Kelly, Author . Dutton $26.95 (528p) ISBN 978-0-525-94739-4

Irish writer Kelly (Someone Like You) knows exactly what women want in their contemporary romances—to escape into a world populated by believable characters in search of more satisfying lives sprinkled with romance. Her latest, rich with the emerald allure of the lush Irish landscape and tart with Kelly's sexy, bracing humor, follows four diverse women linked to the charming Kerry town of Redlion. Hope Parker, 37 ("Mrs. Tracksuit Bottom"), is the mother of two, wife of Matt, who is an ad exec/closet novelist and heir of his uncle's Curlew Cottage in Redlion. Hope fears she will lose her handsome husband—("The seven year itch wasn't just an itch; it was a damn outbreak of eczema")—and quickly agrees to accompany him for a year's writing sabbatical during which her marriage is surprisingly challenged by her attraction to another man. Hope's sister, Samantha (Sam) Smith, "teetering on the abyss of 40," is a hip London music mogul, rattled by a doctor's diagnosis and a raging discontent that can be dealt with only when she finally admits what she needs. Virginia Connell, 58, a grieving widow from Dublin, moves to Redlion, takes up golf and finds that there is life after loss. Discontented Irish/Indian Nicole Turner, 23, loves karaoke but dreams of singing professionally. After she's discovered by one of Sam's A & R people, Nicole learns that fame and fortune pale in comparison to her need for independence and love. Surrounding these women are many thoroughly developed supporting characters and sufficient side plots to fuel a sequel. Romance fans should rejoice in this chatty, comfortable story, as warm and satisfying as Irish oatmeal. (July)

Reviewed on: 05/19/2003
Release date: 06/01/2003
Genre: Fiction
Paperback - 592 pages - 978-1-4165-6460-7
Open Ebook - 768 pages - 978-1-4165-6625-0
Paperback - 656 pages - 978-0-00-226175-3
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