Desert Isle Keeper
Finally – a Desert Isle Keeper for me! I’m pretty sure that this is my first for this year, and I’m thankful. Luanne Rice’s latest story has a touch of magic, lots of love, and a hero I loved, even when he was being a jerk.
May Taylor is a wedding planner and a single mom. She creates magical weddings for her brides while having no romance in her own life. That changes the day she rides on an airplane with Martin Cartier, the Gold Sledgehammer and star of the Boston Bruins hockey team. May’s daughter, Kylie, sees angels (it’s so hard not to write that she “sees dead people”) and is psychically gifted. She sees an angel near Martin and makes sure she talks to him. When they are forced to make a crash landing and Martin rescues May and Kylie from the smoke-filled interior of the plane, May and Martin generate sparks of their own. This meeting leads to love and marriage. But despite their seemingly idyllic marriage, both Martin and May have to overcome deep hurts in their past.
This book is an interesting look at making marriage and family work. Their deep love creates a framework, but is it strong enough considering their speedy courtship and lack of knowledge about one another? If their love is deep enough, will they fight for their marriage or give up when the issues become too big?
May can by turns seem strong and weepy, understandable since she’s had to deal with Kylie’s psychic gifts on her own for so long while longing for love and companionship. Once she falls in love with Martin, it’s with her whole heart. She fights for what they have and knows what needs to happen to make things right.
Martin starts off as a wonderful hero. He’s physically perfect – tall, muscles, broad shoulders, the works. He’s sweet to May and Kylie, but savage on the ice. Martin’s savageness occasionally appears off the ice whenever someone mentions his late daughter, Natalie, or his father. When May tries to talk about both subjects, Martin becomes enraged. This happens over and over, and becomes a little tiresome. But you know what? I understood his reactions because of his past; his anger and denial worked for his character.
Kylie is the perfect kid. She doesn’t talk baby talk, she’s not overly precocious, and she’s integral to the story. She so desperately wants her mother and Martin to believe her special abilities that readers will easily empathize. Since she yearns for a father, it’s just perfect when Martin comes into her life.
Author Rice managed the nearly impossible – she convinced me that Martin and May were truly in love, even though it all happened so quickly. The intensity of Martin’s feelings combined with the uncertainty both felt about what was happening to them made their experience utterly believable.
One of the most special scenes in this story comes near the end, and it’s the scene that firmly ensconced this book onto my keeper shelf. It’s so sweet, so moving, so filled with love between a father and daughter that I cried, and I do not cry while reading books. Well, hardly ever, but I did with this one.
Despite a few urges to knock Martin’s head into the boards myself sometimes, the play of emotions I felt reading this book makes it a keeper for me. The quotes all over the back of this book talk about the author’s previous works and how her consistent theme is love’s ability to heal. That’s the theme in this book, and Rice successfully proves it again.