Publication date: May 1997
Favorite Passage: (There are others I like more, but they would be spoilers)
Beach Read Rating: 5 out of 5 Beach Umbrellas
Review: I don't know why I've never picked up one of Barbara Freethy's books before, but recently, Amazon sent me an email advertising one of her books for $2.99 so I thought I'd try it. I enjoyed it, so I ordered several more. I haven't been disappointed.
In Ask Mariah, Michael Ashton is a widower, blindly trying to raise six-year-old twin daughters who are determined to bring back the mother they've lost. Their refusal to speak to their father makes him think they blame him for their mother's death. They've scared away several nannies. The day they catch the kitchen on fire, he decides to enroll them in summer school.
After the death of her father, professional student, Joanna Wingate is feeling suffocated by her mother's cloying attention. She agrees to take a temporary job teaching at a day care school. That is where she meets the Ashtons. Due to the remarkable resemblance, Rose and Lily are convinced that Joanna is their dead mother, returned. When Joanna sees a photograph of the deceased Mrs. Aston, questions arise that lead Joanna and Michael to try to solve a decades-old mystery, digging up family secrets that many would rather stay secrets.
The relationship between the twins and their father is heartwarming. I did think Joanna should have picked up on a few things sooner. She is about to get her PHD and I thought she'd have known a few things about genetics (a woman with almost black hair and dark eyes could not have come from 2 fair parents.) In spite of that, I found the story engaging. All of the characters are fully-formed, not just the main characters. The by-play between the twins, they way they go around about to communicate with their father without actually talking directly to him left me smiling. I enjoyed this book. If you can get on Kindle, the price is definitely right!
Cover blurb: #1 New York Times bestselling author Barbara Freethy delivers an emotionally compelling and romantic story. ASK MARIAH was a finalist in the RITA's for Best Contemporary Romance.
AN UNFULLFILLED HEART--Joanna Wingate knows something is missing from her life, something she never dreamed she'd find in a handsome stranger's children -- mischievous six-year-old twin sisters who look up at her adoringly ... and call her "Mama."
AN UNSPOKEN NEED--Since his wife's accidental death, Michael Ashton has struggled with his many responsibilities as a single parent to twin daughters who, though they clearly love him, refuse to speak to him. Then he meets Rose and Lily's new teacher, and his life turns upside down, for Joanna Wingate is the mirror image of his late wife.
MARIAH’S MAGIC--Bizarre coincidence, a strange destiny... or something altogether different has joined these four lives. The twins believe Mariah -- a magical fortune-teller -- has the answers. But only Joanna and Michael's willingness to confront long-buried secrets can unite them in a love that seems meant to be.
About today’s guest Blogger: Eliza Fleetwood writes Romantic Suspense and Historical Romance. She lives in the Outer Banks or
. North Carolina