This contemporary romance takes place on the plains of Texas and the tropical paradise of the Island of Kauai, Hawaii. Tessa O’Dell, a young travel writer, meets and marries rich oil/ranching magnate Clark Marlowe. Their marriage is idyllic for ten years. He dies suddenly, and Tessa’s grief is deep and protracted. Her mother-in-law Jonita, a crusty old Texas ranching lady, along with her ex-boss, editor of a travel magazine, finally persuade Tessa to go back to work for the magazine. Her first assignment is to cover the Pacific Polo Matches on the island of Kauai.
Tessa meets Armand Buteaud, captain of the French polo team and an international “play boy”. He sweeps her off her feet. She also meets Gil Dobson who is staying with his daughter and grandchildren in the resort compound where Tessa is housed. Gil is middle aged and a talented architect and developer who is moving his ecologically oriented business to Hawaii. Over time, Tessa is drawn more and more into her infatuation with Armand who romances her, but she finds she trusts him less and less. Gil shares his love of nature with her and takes her on several adventures on the island: sailing, flying a biplane in the canyons, beach trips with his granddaughters, dancing the night away. Tessa is drawn to him but senses that he and his family have some secret that they are not sharing with her.
A near fatal accident causes Tessa to face her fears...of the water, of the past, and of new relationships. Tessa is finally able to bid “aloha” to her life in Texas.
Carol Walt, the author, guarantees a happy ending to this novel which she calls the “quintessential beach book”. She researched the book while on the island of Kauai, so the descriptions of the scenery, the polo matches, the adventures and beauty on the island are as close to the reality of this lovely island as possible. Carol thinks that women who have been to Hawaii, or those who would just like to dream of going there, will enjoy this book.
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