Katie Coyle takes a teaching position at East Bay and finds herself embroiled in the cutthroat politics of Academia. She meets Alistair Proser, a stormy academic of questionable repute, who is applying for the Sean Seamus Clancy Award, an award Katie also covets. Proser tries to court Katie until he discovers that she is writing a rival paper on the missing Earl of Kilmartin, who disappeared without a trace in 1799. Proser intends to annihilate his character by branding him a traitor who sold out his own brother during a rebellion in Ireland. What Proser doesn't know is that Derry O'Riordan, the Tenth Earl of Kilmartin, is a close personal friend of Katie's. He haunts the property Pond House sits on, having washed ashore after a shipwreck and perishing on the beach from exposure. Katie becomes determined to write a rival paper and defend her ghostly love's reputation.
O'Riordan's ship was supposedly bound for the Australian Penal Colony but got blown off course in a storm. I have serious trouble with it wrecking in Massachusetts, since the sailors would be following established southern shipping routes that would hug the European and African coastlines. They'd be some mighty poor sailors to have blown across an entire ocean especially with England being Mistress of the Seas at the time. The author also mentioned a possibility of him being bound for a penal colony in Canada. The only North American British Penal Colony I've been able to uncover was Georgia. There was another minor technical detail that I found fault with. She mentioned the local library staying open later in the summer and closing earlier in the winter. I haven't been to a library yet that wasn't open later in the winter due to school being in session. Since Katie is a teacher, it only stands to reason that this detail should have been correct in the first place.
If you can get past the questionable research, the novel is well written with an interesting paranormal twist at the end. The love between Katie and Derry is intense and the love scenes are hot!
This report prepared by Kelly Steed