Berkley, May 2003, 400 pp.
Maddy Bainbridge and her four-year-old child Hannah leave Seattle to help her mom run the Candlelight Inn in Paradise, New Jersey. Although she has been away from home for fifteen years, Maddy needs work as an accountant and Hannah needs a change of scenery after her father left them and remarried.
Over the Internet, Maddy gets into a bidding war over a dented teapot. She gets the last bid winning the teapot by defeating widow Aidan O'Malley. His teenage daughter wanted the teapot because it is identical to one in a picture her grandma possesses. Aidan sends an email to Maddy to try to purchase the teapot, but she informs him She plans to give it to her daughter as a magic lamp. As they exchange emails, neither knows the identity of the other, but begins to like what they read and perhaps even fall in love just a bit. However, both are afraid to take this out of hyperspace into reality, although neither knows that they have already met at her daughter's pre-school and were attracted to one another.
SHORE LIGHTS is an entertaining Internet romance that provides readers with an interesting thought as to whether the in-person reality can match the email perception. The lead couple is a delight and the support cast adds depth to either of the protagonists though the poor communications between Maddy and her mom seem overly contrived. Still Barbara Bretton bestows a beautiful modern day romance on her audience.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner