St. Martin's, Sep 2001, 6.50, 368 pp.
For the past three summers Maddie Copeland, owner of Maddie's Gifts, enjoyed the friendship of octogenarian James Madison, a visitor of Hanscomb Harbor, Connecticut. The deceased's grandson Hank thinks the mysterious bimbo is another gold digger who got lucky when James died. When they meet, he treats her accordingly though she finds herself attracted to him, but quite angry at his behavior towards her.
Further shocking Maddie is that James named her in his will. She inherits the entire mega business that she never knew James owned if his grandson fails to take a six-week vacation in Hanscomb Harbor with no business conducted there. If he succeeds, Maddie gains James' personal fortune if she spends six weeks in New York. In both cases, they must report to one another. James had felt that Maddie and Hank are perfect and is playing matchmaker from heaven.
Readers will be mad about Cheryl Anne Porter's delectably humorous contemporary romance, quite a change from one of the top historical authors. The story line is very amusing as both lead characters are attracted to one another and connected through their love of the recently departed, but neither trusts the intentions of the other. Ms. Porter takes an old theme and brings freshness to it through the antics of Maddie and Hank to adhere and circumvent James' iron clad will.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner