Bantam Books, June 2002
Reviewed by Barbara Fielding
May Taylor is a single mother, wedding planner, and operator of the Bridal Barn. Following in her mother and grandmother's footsteps, the Taylor women have created magical weddings in Black Hall, Connecticut for three generations. But May's six year old daughter, Kylie, is gifted with a different kind of magic. When Kylie begins having dreams and talking to angels and ghosts, May seeks professional help. On a flight to a doctor's appointment at Twigg University in Toronto, where Kylie is enrolled in a study for children with clairvoyant gifts, Kylie receives a message from an angel. The angel is a little girl who asks Kylie to help her Daddy, and tells her the plane is going to make an emergency landing.
Martin Cartier, star hockey player for the Boston Bruins, is a complex man. A divorce, the death of his little girl, and the imprisonment of his father have left him with deep emotional scars--scars that fuel the rage he channels into playing hockey. When a little girl on the flight to Toronto asks him if he will help her and her mommy get off the plane when the time comes, he agrees. Shortly after her request the plane makes an emergency landing and Kylie's seat belt jams as the plane fills with smoke. Cartier comes to their rescue and helps the lovely lady and her little girl safely off the airplane. May thanks Cartier for saving them, and impulsively gives him a bridal charm her grandmother made, to thank him. The charm proves to bring him luck in his next game, and Cartier can't stop thinking about her.
Cartier sends May roses to thank her for the lucky charm, and soon begins seriously courting her, telling her he believes they are meant to be together. But only Kylie glimpses what's ahead, and the true reason they were brought together.
SUMMER LIGHT is a tender and complex love story, with layers of emotional depth. Where many romantic novels focus on a happily ever after plot, this tale only begins where others leave off. Cartier is a complicated character with deep scars and resentments. He's more comfortable pounding out his emotions on the ice than with love and relational skills. Their stormy marriage brings out May's strengths and her magical gift for understanding and healing. Luanne Rice is an extraordinary writer with a real talent for creating multi-dimensional characters and expressing the subtle emotions of family dramas.
This isn't a recent release and it's my first novel by this author. It's easy to see why so many readers love her. I highly recommend SUMMER LIGHT.
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