Writer Nick "Hardhearted" Harte came back to Eclipse Bay in the hopes of luring gallery owner Octavia Brightwell on a date...and hopefully into his bed. But Octavia keeps turning him down, his son is pestering him about it, and his grandfather is butting in. Then Octavia discovers a rare and undocumented painting...and it's stolen from her gallery. Octavia asks Nick to look into the theft and he agrees to it. And he keeps seeing her, though the urge is to break his own habit of leaving before dawn, and despite the fact that Octavia insists that she's selling her business and moving out of town.
This report prepared by Sarrah
Jove, May 2002, 7.99, 352 pp.
Widower Nick Harte has asked out gallery owner Octavia Brightwell six times in the five weeks since he met her when she hosted the successful showing of his sister's work (see DAWN IN ECLIPSE BAY), but she keeps saying no. Even his six-year-old son admonishes Nick to stop harassing Octavia.
Though frustrated, Nick refuses to give up and finally convinces Octavia to go to dinner with him. The duo finds that initial magnetic pull at the show remains a powerful attraction, but both fear anything beyond a casual summer fling. His now deceased wife burned him. Octavia has a secret involving the infamous Harte-Madison feud that finally love finally ended. Octavia is the niece of the woman who caused the spat. She came to Eclipse Bay to make things right, but she knows the families have no need of her. As her time here draws to an end, Octavia realizes her heart will always remain in this Portland, Oregon suburb.
SUMMER IN ECLIPSE BAY is a warm ending to Jayne Ann Krentz's delightful trilogy. The story line centers on the post-feud relationship between two lead characters fearing deep commitment. That premise is well written and imbedded in the plot, but also leaves the reader to wonder why Nick kept calling almost to the point of telephonic stalking. Though not quite a powerhouse as its two predecessors, fans of the series, the author, or deep emotional contemporary romances will gain much pleasure from this pleasing finale.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner