This is a cozy, comforting book without a lot of suspense (there’s some at the end) that’s just perfect book to curl up with in front of your Christmas tree and fireplace. Even though it’s not a thrill a minute, it’s a very enjoyable story that will keep you reading.
Georgia Enright is a ballerina who decides to take a leave from her dance troupe. She’s questioning herself and her goals, and is no longer sure that ballet is her destiny. She decides to visit her new-found half-sister, Laura Bishop, at the inn Laura owns. While there, Laura takes Georgia to Pumpkin Hill, a farm that has been in Laura’s adopted family for many years. Georgia decides to rent Pumpkin Hill from Laura while she figures out what to do with her life.
Matt Bishop, Laura’s adopted brother, is a veterinarian who dreams of opening his own clinic at Pumpkin Hill. He’s thrown for a loop when he finds out Georgia is living there, especially because she’s an Enright. Matt hates the Enrights and he has issues with them that keep him from getting to know Georgia right away.
There is so much I loved about this book. I really like the way Mariah Stewart writes. She makes us readers feel as though we’re there, in whatever town she’s writing about. There’s a strong feeling of being at Pumpkin Hill right with Georgia, and it felt very homey. And, Georgia’s character was very likable. She was a ballerina, and didn’t so many of us dream about being ballerinas when we were young? I sure did, and very much liked the dancing scenes. I also enjoyed when she began teaching her niece and her friends ballet; it brought back a lot of memories. Georgia’s also sweet, loving and loyal. She’s someone any reader would like to have for a friend. She knows Matt hates the Enrights, but she does her best to get him to open up. And it works.
Matt, however, is hard to warm up to right away. He hates the Enrights, as I’ve mentioned, and although his reasons are perfectly understandable, it’s hard to watch how he fights his feelings for Georgia even though he’s attracted to her as soon as they meet. It’s a testament to his strength of character, though, that he does fight his feelings of dislike for the Enright family. There were a few times, however, that I just wanted to tell Matt to get over it already. It did fell good, though, to watch Matt eat his words after he finds out some things that Georgia and some of the other Enright women have been doing for his and Laura’s adopted mother.
A charming cast of secondary characters completes things. This includes Georgia’s family, seen in previous Enright books, and a pig named Spammy whom Georgia takes in, as well as Georgia’s friend Lee. The only problem in this book is that some people may find that Matt and Georgia are separated too long. They have brief meetings when Matt goes to the farm, but there are no really extended encounters where they get to know each other until at least halfway through the book. This didn’t bother me because of the quality of Stewart’s writing, but I know many people don’t like long separations. There was a lot of sexual tension, but most of Matt and Georgia’s relationship was packed into the last quarter of the novel (good thing it’s a long one).
I really enjoyed this book, and I think you all will as well. Try it some afternoon when no one else is around and you can curl up on the couch or in your favorite chair and read all afternoon. I think it’s worth it.