Callie Burke is struggling to survive financially and professionally as an Art Conservationist. When she's offered a very lucrative job restoring a painting for wealthy business man Jack Walker, she isn't sure she wants to do it. Jack represents everything Callie has sworn to avoid in life, and her fear of an emotional commitment only complicates matters when she realizes she's immediately attracted to Jack. Still, she takes the job and moves into Jack's Boston home to do the restoration on the portrait, all the while determined to ignore her growing feelings for her 'employer'. After having seen her only once, and now hiring her for the restoration job, Jack wants Callie --- desperately --- and is very determined to convince her they belong together. Presently engaged to another woman, Jack realizes he's falling in love with Callie and breaks off his engagement, then puts all his efforts and feelings into capturing Callie's heart. Together they find a way to work through all the obstacles keeping them apart, and learn to trust in what their hearts are telling them: their love is solid and enduring.
This report prepared by Kari Thomas
Ivy, Apr 2004, 6.99
Jack Walker buys back a renowned Copley portrait of an ancestor that his father years ago sold to bring in cash to fund an elitist lifestyle. While making his five million dollar symbolic purchase from the Hall Foundation, Jack's friend Grace Hall introduces him to art restorer Callie Burke. After just ten minutes in her presence Callie occupies his dreams though he is engaged to someone else.
Jack offers Callie a chance to restore the masterpiece, which after twice refusing, the poor Callie finally agrees to do so. She travels from her New York residence to perform her craft at his Boston mansion. As Jack and Callie become acquainted they fall in love, but he knows she hides a secret from him that makes him believe she does not trust him. What he does not know is that she promised her beloved half-sister Grace that she would never reveal the identity of their common father.
This is a warm contemporary romance that stars a delightful lead couple, several nice secondary players like Grace and his fiancée, and boneheads like his mother and her dad. The story line provides the audience an insight into restoration, but mostly focuses on the attraction between Jack and Callie that if encouraged would most likely derail his bid for the Governorship of the Commonwealth. Sub-genre fans will find Jessica Bird's latest tale irresistible.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner