THE CHARM STONE
Kauffman, Author, Donna Kauffman, Author . Bantam $5.99 (336p
At the start of this intergenerational romance—she's a 25-year-old South Carolina surfergirl and he's a 300-year-old Scottish ghost—Josie Griffin gets knocked off her surfboard by a sea-born treasure chest containing an ancient necklace set with a mysterious yellow stone. Which she dons. Which sets off a madcap chain of events starting with the appearance of a three-foot-tall, kilt-clad elf who informs Josie that her donning of the MacNeil clan stone has betrothed her to The MacNeil, otherwise known as Connal. This three-century-old, studly spirit looks to be only in his late 20s and, as his romantically tempted yet resistant "fiancée" soon learns, he can solidify quite sufficiently to fulfill the clan stone's destiny—to beget a clan heir. But when lust turns to love, Josie and Connal are faced with a tricky dilemma: How can they find happiness together as mortal and ghost? The book's charm lies not only in the titular jewel but in its playful plot, lively Scottish island setting, appropriately funny writing style and eccentric cast of characters—which includes a gang of senior citizen surfers. With its well-balanced combination of humor and romance, this summer beach read is certain to make waves.
Reviewed on: 07/08/2002