Small town values are tested in upbeat romance

Whisper’s Edge, by LuAnn McLane. Signet Eclipse. 304 pages. $7.99.

Ms. McLane’s fourth entry in her popular “Cricket Creek” series (and her eighteenth title overall) continues to explore the charm of a friendly riverfront Kentucky town in the midst of change. While business ventures can enhance the town, they can also undermine its caring, relaxed, neighborly character. In this installment, the seniors’ community of Whisper’s Edge needs a financial rescue. While the town has made a comeback from hard times, largely due to its minor league baseball team, Whisper’s Edge is struggling. And the land it sits on is valuable. WhispersEdgeCover

Meet twenty-nine year old Savannah Perry, a transplant to the town who bears the emotional scars of growing up in the foster care system. Savannah is the social director of Whisper’s Edge and assistant to the manager, Kate. Savannah, delightful and compassionate, is the only under fifty-five resident of the community, whose elderly population has provided a team of parental figures for her. Attractive but insecure, she strives to create activities that liven up and bond the residents – and she succeeds.

A young lawyer, Tristan McMillan, has purchased the financially troubled community from his mean-spirited, judgmental grandfather and hopes to prove himself by turning the investment into a profitable enterprise. He is still researching the possibilities as he arrives on the scene.

Hunky Tristan makes a big splash, literally, by helping Savannah rescue a resident’s floundering dog from the community pool. There is a spark between these two young adults, who carefully negotiate the power of that attraction. Savannah’s directness and common sense are refreshing to Tristan. She feels herself beneath the notice of this well-educated man – but she is wrong. A self-described workaholic nerd, Tristan has his own self-esteem problems.

LuAnn McLane

LuAnn McLane

For light reading, this novel takes on serious issues and themes with power and insight. The risks of change are everywhere: in personal habits, in relationships, and in the future of the retirement community and the town.

The romance between Savannah and Tristan heats up, complicated by the ebbs and flows of need and fear. It is echoed by the romance that develops between mid-fifties Kate and the handsome, sixtyish widower, Ben, whose wife has recently passed away. Kate, who had divorced a cheating husband, wonders about opening herself to love again. Ben wonders if he is yet ready. Their dance of passion and hesitation is as intriguing and well-drawn as that between Savannah and Tristan. . . .

To read the entire review, as it appears in the May 29, 2013 Fort Myers Florida Weekly, the May 30 Bonita Springs edition and the June 6 Naples edition, click here:  Florida Weekly – LuAnn McLane 1 and here: Florida Weekly – LuAnn McLane 2

See also: Ft.Myers magazine – LuAnn McLane

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