Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Toni's Review of An Apple Away by Kate Richards ***5 Stars***


   

A witch's spell great love may break

Aislinn never wants to see another doctor. Their painful and pointless treatments have done nothing to improve her rapidly deteriorating health. She hopes that the staff of Wiccan Haus can at least offer a change of scene, if not a return of a little of her former strength. She’s delighted to meet Punda, a masseuse, on her arrival and charmed by the cottage in the apple orchard where she will stay.

Dr. Hugo Peralta visits the island at the insistence of his boss. The distinguished brain surgeon is in desperate need of a respite before overwork makes him one of his own patients. He is surprised but pleased with the privacy and serenity of his cottage—across the orchard from Aislinn’s. An idyllic location on a magical island where love can blossom—if the Rowans can help the trio save Aislinn from whatever is killing her.

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Kate Richards took the old saying “An apple a day, keeps the doctor away” and made it her own.

Hugo and Aislinn arrived separately but they both are staying at the orchards at the Wiccan Haus Resort and Spa and Spa.  A beautiful place filled with the sweet smells of apples and the enchantment of island.  Each are escaping the lives that are slowly killing them.  Each will find health and healing at this exclusive island paradise.

Dr. Hugo Peralta is a workaholic.  He lives, eats and breathes his job.  Emergencies and life don’t take a vacation, so why should he.  Though he has been forced to take this trip by his boss, he will take this time to catch up on journals and other important items he has hasn’t had time to catch up on.  The staff at the resort has another idea.  Every time he thinks he will have a moment to do what he wants, something comes up and changes his plans.  The best obstacle so far has been the mysteriously ill neighbor Aislinn, and the staff member assisting her, the beautifully alluring Punda.

Aislinn has had it!  She has been poked and prodded for over a year.  The doctors have no clue what is wrong with her and she is tired of them and the direction her life is heading. If she never see another doctor, she will be perfectly fine.  On the advice of a friend, she decides to visit the resort.  She has nothing else to lose and if this is her last chance to enjoy life, she is bound and determined to do it.  From the moment she sips a delicious cup of spiced apple cider on the ferryboat, she knows she made the right decision.

Punda is surprisingly attracted to Hugo and Aislinn from the very beginning, but she knows her place at the resort.  She is to take care of Aislinn while she is here and since she seen the spark between the two of them, she feels the need to bring them together and not get in their way.  Too bad fate has other plans.

Hugo, Aislinn and Punda are all unsure about their feelings.  They each want the other two people in the relationship to succeed and be happy as a twosome, never quite realizing that they are all attracted to each other.  I enjoyed how Ms. Richards finally brought them together.  You could feel that they were all meant to be and their eventual joining was sexy and fantastic. 

Even though this is a short story and everything is in fast forward, this story felt natural.  The tale of this group relationship seems realistic and sweet.  In fact, I would say that their relationship felt more natural to me then the side plot.  Short of the necessity of it, I could have done without it.  That 10% spent on that other person could have been added to the development of their relationship and I would have been ecstatic and it still would have been a magical experience.

This is a short story pure and simple.  There is no huge backstory or deep character development.  You get a quick satisfying tale that will keep you interested and turning the pages.  Ms. Richards has written this ménage so well that I leave them knowing they will be happy and their love will only grow. *sigh*

This is another wonderful addition to the Wiccan Haus series.  Keep them coming!! 


Thanks for reading - Toni

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