Bookbug on the Web - Reviews: Miranda Jarrett


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Miranda Jarrett




Bookbug Review

Jarrett, Miranda - CRANBERRY POINT  (Pocket - 1998) (3+)
The seaside colony of Appledore, Massachusetts is well established by 1720, and it offers a comfortable home to sailors and their families. In the opinion of Fitzgerald James Rockingham Crosbie, world traveler and bon vivant, however, it is a drab little backwater community that is absolutely no place for his impulsive, headstrong sibling. Gerald has traveled to Appledore in a covert effort to rescue his runaway sister, Annabelle, from the "certain disaster" of being married to a boorish American sea captain. This third-born son of Irish/English nobility arrives in the wake of a heavy fog and has no way of knowing that the "mermaid," whom he saves from drifting out to sea, will ultimately challenge everything that he has always believed to be true about himself and his life. Upon second meeting, the "mermaid" (Serena) finds Gerald both maddening and fascinating. She isn't ready to give up her spinster's heart or her independent lifestyle, especially to this rascally rogue!

This is the story of two lonely people who are ultimately compelled to question the most basic of beliefs about themselves. Miranda Jarrett writes with a flowing style that gracefully and unerringly moves the reader from scene to scene. Even though the first third of the book is taken up with relating pertinent details about the prequel, THE CAPTAIN'S BRIDE, the story line fairly flies after that. The writing in CRANBERRY POINT is not particularly sensual, but the delayed wedding night scene near the end of the book is beautifully done. It captures the emotions of two people discovering they each make up one-half of a much more complete whole. ~Connie Ramsdell for Bookbug on the Web



Bookbug Review

Jarrett, Miranda - MOONLIGHT  (Pocket/Sonnet - 6/99) (4)
The Fairbourne family saga continues in 1725 Boston, where Zach Fairbourne (whom readers may remember from WISHING) is anxiously awaiting his first captain's commission. Zach is now a responsible man, and his main concern is keeping to the completion and launch schedule set for his new ship by the demanding head of the Fairbourne family, Joshua. So Zach isn't very happy about having to go into a ladies' shop to pick up a fur muff for Joshua's wife. He is in for a delightful surprise when the owner turns out to be the same young woman he stole a kiss from in the moonlight the night before—Amelie Lecroix.

Amelie and her sister live above their dressmaker's shop and have established a reputation in the area as the best at their craft. Being American born but of French descent, and therefore hated by many Americans, it is critical that they live without scandal of any kind. Before their mother's death, she stressed the importance of this to her daughters, along with the fact that they should never trust a man or fall in love...for fear of heartbreak and ruin. It takes a great deal of trial and persuasion by Zach and his family to change Amelie's strong beliefs.

MOONLIGHT is a lovely, romantic story, and Ms. Jarrett uses subtle humor to develop the varied relationships between family and friends. It was a pleasure to watch the friendship between the hero and heroine develop into love. Zach is an adorable hero, demonstrating protective, tender, and sensitive qualities. He also exhibits a strong store of patience towards Amelie as she struggles with her feelings. This young captain has just the power of persuasion necessary to help his seamstress learn to trust in true love, and you will be excited when the whole Fairbourne family visits and helps him win her over. The plot twists will even have you liking the villains before the end. MOONLIGHT is a great addition to the Fairbourne saga, and I hope there are many more stories on the way!  ~Carol Carter for Bookbug on the Web



Bookbug Review

Jarrett, Miranda - WISHING  (Pocket/Sonnet - 1/99) (4)
Samson, second eldest in the Fairbourne family, has spent most of his life trying to measure up to his older brother Joshua, even though he is a successful captain and the owner of a ship (The Morning Star). Following an evening in port and the "rescue" of his cousin Zach from a woman of questionable character, the Captain decides to give a lesson on women. As a prank, Samson makes a wish to Neptune and writes his idea of the perfect woman on the back of a dinner receipt and places it into a bottle, corks it tightly, and throws it into the sea. As he does so, the winds pick up and a storm begins to brew...

Polly Bray, a young woman who was orphaned and left to earn her own way after her father died, is near exhaustion as she hauls in fish on her boat. She discovers an old bottle and excitedly opens it, hoping the paper inside is a treasure map. Instead she finds a dinner receipt with scribbling on the back—listing the characteristics of a lady too perfect to exist. Polly decides it was put in the bottle by a man who drank the contents of the bottle before writing it! When the wind begins to gust, she tucks it into her pocket...before she is whacked by the boom and thrown into the sea. As Polly begins to sink, she is sad thinking she has to die this way and realizes there is no one to mourn or miss her.

When the crew of The Morning Star pulls in a body they found floating in the sea, they think it is a young lad because Polly is dressed in boy's clothing. Samson considers the victim's family who will soon be grieving, and looks for some type of identification—surprised to learn this is not the body of a boy! Meanwhile, Polly begins to regain consciousness as she hears men discussing her. The crew witnesses the "corpse" come to life, and when Polly learns she is onboard a ship in the Mediterranean, she is equally shocked.

Thus begins the tale of WISHING, a fun adventure and a story about two lonely souls: Samson, who doesn't trust women; and Polly, who is completely overwhelmed by feelings she doesn't understand. These are two strong, fiercely independent characters who like life the way it is and do not want change. Polly is a feminist in an historical age and she keeps Samson, a confirmed bachelor, in a quandary because he can't stop thinking about her. Ms. Jarrett fills the pages with high adventure, sweet romance and humor. Readers will look forward to the next story in the Fairbourne family saga. ~Carol Carter for Bookbug on the Web




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