The last thing Libby Sawyer and her father expected upon their return from their summer home was to find strangers inhabiting a house that had been in their family for decades. Widower Michael Dobrescu brought his family from Romania to the town of Colden, Massachusetts with a singular purpose: to claim the house willed to him long ago. Since neither party has any intention of giving up their claim, a fierce legal battle ensues between the two families.When important documents go missing from the house, Libby suspects Michael is the culprit. Determined to discover the truth behind the stolen papers, Libby investigates, only to find more layers of mystery surrounding Michael and his family. Despite their rivalry, Libby finds herself developing feelings for this man with the mysterious past. As a decision about the house looms in the courts, Libby must weigh the risks of choosing to remain loyal to her family or give her heart to a man whose intentions and affections are less than certain.
The Dobrescu family arrives on Winslow Street in Colden, Massachusetts. The Romanian family breaks into the house that Michail claims is his own. Libby Sawyer and her father have lived in the house ever since her professor - father purchased the decrepit building, putting years of work into rehabbing it. Michail expects a legal battle; he puts all of his remaining funds into securing a lawyer. Yet, once Libby meets the family, understands the terror that sent them fleeing across countries and oceans, and begins to love Michail, she feels pulled in two directions: loyalty to her father or affection/friendship for Michail. Libby lets her faith guide her as she deals with well-meaning neighbors who treat the Dobrescus badly and a father who has loved but often belittled her.
Michail changes his name to Michael to become American. His faith in America and its laws reminded me of what a great country we live in. At first, Michael’s physical size is a perfect match for his outsized temper and protectiveness for his sons, friends, and especially for his frail sister. Through the situations in the book, Michael softens up – especially when the reader learns of another talent of his …other than war and soldiering. Libby’s attempts to be fair and friendly are almost hard to read because they are met with a large rebuff from Michael. Between that, her father’s refusal to believe in her, and her sister-in-law’s betrayal, she seems almost too patient and accepting to be true. However, her stubbornness and intelligence lead her to discover the mystery of her father’s inventions. Midway through the book, you’ll be rooting for her to find a way to be with Michael and solve all the problems surrounding the two families.
Three and a half Stars
*Reviewed by Colleen*
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