Atria, Nov 2003, 18.00
After nine months of seeing Stephanie Banning, Dr. Nicholas Taggert ends their relationship because she is too selfish. However, the sly Stephanie insures that most people believe Nicholas played her unfair. Needing to escape from the underserved criticism, Nicholas hides in a remote garage next to an isolated cabin near Edenton, North Carolina.
When she learns that Lawrence Beaumont III is divorced, Holly, felling lonely, returns to her hometown to be near him because she has fond memories of him. When she was thirteen and he was three years older, he treated her to the most wonderful summer of her life.
Holly meets Nicholas for the first time at a convenience store where both are shopping. After he leaves, the owner warns Holly to avoid him. He insists that Nicholas must be a felon as he lives in the home of an incarcerated thief. In spite of the birds of a feather alert, Holly and Nicholas begin seeing each other while Lawrence believes that she is his divine right because of his upper class blood. Holly and Nicholas may be attracted to one another, but she thinks he is a bum and that Lawrence is her one. He needs to tell her the truth, but also must keep her safe as someone wants to harm her.
HOLLY is a warm romantic intrigue that is fun to read especially as Holly and Nicholas falls in love. The lead couple is a delightfully charming duet who are sold as individuals, but really fine together. Though a suspense laden subplot adds tension it seems very out of character for what is known of the villain. Still the audience will fondly regard Jude Deveraux's latest tale.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner