“Stranger in the Moonlight" by Jude Deveraux (Pocket Books, $7.99)
The second book of this Edilean series is a refreshingly sweet story with likable characters, a charming setting and, most of all, an engaging romance.
The story lacks the drama produced in many romance novels by secrets, misunderstandings and lack of communication. And while readers would get bored if the genre authors all decided to resort to this type of story line on a regular basis, the rarity of having characters behave in such a commonsensical, forthright and honest manner is refreshingly appealing.
Kim is one of the three college friends serving as the heroines of this series. After a cute prologue, the story begins at the wedding reception of Jecca and Tristan (“Moonlight in the Morning") when Travis surprises Kim. The two had a brief, but memorable and life-changing, childhood friendship and hadn’t seen each other since.
It may have been a bit more intriguing had Travis withheld his identity for a while, but the fact that practically the first words out of his mouth revealed himself to Kim was rather sweet.
Kim was on the verge of accepting a marriage proposal from a man she didn’t really love. Travis was a playboy who had no interest in settling down — until he saw Kim again.
The story is a bit disjointed at times, going off in several directions, but somehow it works and only adds to the interest. There is Kim and Travis’ romance; a trip to a nearby town to find some long-lost relatives; the revelation of Lucy’s past and her romance with Jecca’s father (Joe); and a secondary whirlwind romance.
Through it all, Kim and Travis revel in finding their blissful happily-ever-after with each other. And so will readers.