EMMA Montague isn’t looking for a boyfriend, and she certainly isn’t looking for a ready-made school-aged son.
Yet in the process of renting an unfashionably dated beachfront cottage in sleepy Westport, Connecticut, she finds herself tempted by the possibility of reaching out towards both.
After years of living the high-life in lower Manhattan, where she shone in the cut-throat world of professional finance, English expat Emma is seeking a few months of downtime as she unwinds and reboots courtesy of a generous severance package. Her days of wheeling and dealing behind her (for now, at any rate) she wonders if she might make a future for herself as an interior designer – something she’s always dreamt of trying.
Emma’s handsome landlord and next-door neighbour Dominic is an unexpected bonus of her decision to trade the New York lifestyle for the slower pace of a small town where everyone is connected.
Cheerful, outgoing Dominic could well be just the right match for quiet, shy Emma, and his six-year-old son, Jesse, seems to agree – initially, at least. However, accepting a new woman as part of Dominic’s world is not easy for Jesse, who has never had to share his affection or welcome anyone else into their household.
The situation becomes even more complicated when Jesse’s mother – the woman who vanished six years earlier without a single word of farewell – reappears suddenly in Westport. Has she come back to reclaim not only her child but his father as well?
Emma is distraught, torn between wanting to stand her ground and defend their relationship and needing to protect herself from what she assumes will be inevitable heartbreak.
What starts out as a traditional love story is made memorable by its generous side helping of unpredictability, warmth and insight and an emotionally charged climax that’s completely unexpected.