Heart Of The Sea
by Nora Roberts, contemporary (2000)
Jove, $7.99, ISBN 0-515-12855-4

Don't look at me like that. You think I can't like a Nora Roberts book? I have you know, I'm a fan of hers, you know (not that one will know, I admit, judging from the way I skewered her previous releases). But if I like a book, I'll say it, and I really like Heart Of The Sea.

This book is the concluding story in a trilogy of the ultra-beautiful, supremely gorgeous, and immaculately talented Gallagher siblings, and the two faerie beings who must see them all married before they themselves can do the nasty in a happily-ever-after. In HOTS (ooh) Darcy Gallagher, the sister, gets her due reward for being so perfect in uberhunk Trevor Magee.

Darcy is a woman who lives for Money, Credit Card, and High Life. Mister, if you ain't got the moolah, get lost. I like her already. Although I'm sure readers who are particular about their heroines being practicing Martyrs and Goodie-Two-Shoes may have some problems with Darcy, I think she's fun and smart. While waiting for her literal Prince Charming, she decides, what the heck, why not fool around with that construction worker who blows her a kiss, right?

Well, Trev is the boss, and he's far from poor. Lucky Darcy. Soon, he is helping Darcy to be the new Irish singing sensation while building some undoubtedly supreme new extensions to the Gallagher inn. Soon Trev is absolutely besotted with her. But can she realize that all she wants is his heart? (Along with the money, car, house, credit card, and the whole moolah, I'm sure - oops, am I not supposed to say that?)

Actually, I do find Trev and Darcy, while likeable, lacking in chemistry. Still, they do make convincing friends, and that's something. But what really sweeps me off my feet are the lovely, lovely depictions of Ireland as well as the poetic dream scenes and those involving the faerie creatures Gwen and Carrick. For the first time, those two faeries come alive to me, and I am quite annoyed at the rushed resolution of their happy-ever-after. So overpowering are the lyricism and balladry of the story that there are moments when I wish Darcy and Trev would just stop their rather conventional relationship and sleep and dream. Hey, I have my rolling pin if they need any assistance in blacking out.

HOTS isn't as hot as its acronyms suggest, it is a slow story where very little actually happens. But this time around, the relationship between Trev and Darcy is just right, minus conventional and irritating Can't love even if you put a gun to my head baggage, and oh, Ireland, Ireland!

Reading HOTS is like listening to Enya in her better days, where the mood just sings poetry. It's not exactly Yeats, but it makes a wonderful, picturesque read.

Rating: 86

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