Luanne Rice, Author . Bantam $22.95 (352p) ISBN 978-0-553-80227-6

Heartbreak gives way to love and reconciliation in this poignant tale by veteran romance writer Rice (The Perfect Summer , etc.). After more than a decade as the owner of a trendy New York City bakery, Calamity Jane's, 35-year-old Jane Porter returns to her native rural Rhode Island to help her sister, Sylvie, care for their ailing mother, Margaret. Neighbor Dylan Chadwick has recently moved back to the Twin Rivers area, too, after abandoning his career as a federal law enforcement agent in New York. Both Jane and Dylan are badly scarred by life's blows: Dylan is still mourning the death of his wife and daughter in a shootout, and Jane can't forget the outcome of a doomed college romance. As Dylan embarks on the daunting task of restoring his father's beloved apple orchard, Jane takes an avid interest in Dylan's 15-year-old niece, Chloe, baking apple tarts for the orchard roadside stand where Chloe works. Sparks fly between Dylan and Jane, but the novel's plot hinges on Jane and Chloe's growing friendship. Rice relies heavily on coincidence and contrivance, concocting a tear-jerking mix of family strife, juvenile impetuosity and misunderstood motives, but her sympathetic protagonists keep readers engaged. Even secondary characters like Sylvie, a tightly wound school librarian, and Mona, Chloe's eccentric best friend, make an impression, and readers will breathe sighs of relief when the long-awaited happy ending comes for Dylan, Jane and Chloe. (Feb. 17)

Reviewed on: 01/26/2004
Release date: 02/01/2004
Genre: Fiction
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-0-7435-3693-6
Compact Disc - 978-0-7435-2328-8
Paperback - 978-0-553-38583-0
Hardcover - 576 pages - 978-0-7862-6156-7
Mass Market Paperbound - 480 pages
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-0-7435-2327-1
Compact Disc - 978-0-7435-6535-6
Open Ebook - 283 pages - 978-0-553-89870-5
Hardcover - 576 pages - 978-0-7540-7976-7
Downloadable Audio - 978-1-4498-7030-0
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