Something’s not right at Baillie’s popular used bookstore in rain-soaked western Washington and frigid, heart-stopping air is her first clue. When the cat refuses to enter the shop and Baillie hears faint bagpipes in the travel book section, her nerves are rubbed raw.
Meanwhile in Scotland, the heir of a local castle falls to a suspicious death. An evil banker claims ownership of the castle, leaving the staff to ponder their fate.
How are these events connected? The answer lies in a Ghost and Mrs. Muir tale, twenty-first century style that flips the table with a ghostly twenty-seven-year-old hunk, Lord Kai, and fifty-something bachelorette Baillie. Her gay best friend Gillian Nation and his girls dash to Scotland to Baillie’s rescue when the combination of alcohol, villainous banker, DNA, and good old-fashioned jealousy throw Baillie into the fight of her life. Will she choose to reclaim her normal Northwest existence or grab onto an unorthodox love that makes life magical and breath-taking?
The moment I read the blurb for this novel, I just knew that I had to read it!
I’ll admit the reference to “The Ghost and Mrs. Muir” is one of the first things that caught my eye, as it’s one of my favorite classics, but this novel also has a little “To Wong Foo…Julie Newmar” involved. The two mixed a lot better than I expected.
The author has flawlessly portrayed a character very much in need of an adventure! Baillie made it too convenient to remain a homebody when she turned her house into a used book store. She constantly makes up reasons to just sit at home in front of the tube, but thankfully she has a couple of colorful characters to pull her out of her funk. When a letter arrives with exciting news, she’s left with the feeling that something’s awry. Although it’s unlike her, and against her friends’ wishes, she embarks on a journey to Scotland that will change her life forever. She’s not alone, however, and the pace of the story picks up tremendously from this point.
Baillie and Kai form a beautiful bond despite their differences, and the author uses the art of insinuation brilliantly here. Sweet little nothings, soft touches, or cool sensations in this case, excited me extremely. The banter between this dynamic duo was both comical and endearing. Baillie’s time alone with the Highlander, and the staff, is my favorite part of the book. The book’s mood changes very rapidly when her friends enter the scene, however.
Gillian and the divas are quite the characters and hard to explain, but they love Baillie very much, and go to great lengths to help her out. This trendy trio added a touch of the new world to this story.
There’s a great deal more involved in this novel, but I’m afraid to spoil the surprises. I’m not in love with the addition of the queens, but it worked here. The author built a sturdy foundation from the beginning, which kept the story from falling apart when the story-line changed. Filled with an unusual, yet wonderful cast of characters, I couldn’t help but adore this novel! I’m considering reading it again, as it’s one of those that starts to grow on you the more you think about it.
Kathleen Shaputis, author/ghostwriter, lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, Bob, where curling up with icy Diet Coke, writing romantic comedies is her ultimate paradise.