Raxten, Judith. The Secret Dreams of Emily Porter. (New York: Harlequin, 2007). ISBN- 9780373654208. Harlequin Everlasting Love #18, October 2007.
Main Characters: Emily Porter, Ethan Douglas and Joshua Lundgren
Description from book:
In a cottage by the sea . . .
Emily Porter never truly thought she’d find the kind of love that would fill her soul with tenderness, passion . . . and peace. But that was before Ethan Douglass. In Ethan she found a love that shaped her life. In his seaside cottage she found a whole new world.
Then Ethan dies suddenly and Emily – miraculously pregnant with his baby – is left to grieve alone in their isolated cottage. But there are signs that she may not be alone after all. Slowly, almost imperceptibly, Emily begins to feel Ethan.
But whether Ethan is a memory or ghost or dream, Emily is determined to keep him with her. When her beloved cottage burns to ashes, she hires Josh Lundgren to rebuild it. Josh, the carpenter chosen by Ethan himself. Chosen for her?
First up, I didn’t actually buy this book. It came as a free book promotion that eHarlequin.com was having recently. I can honestly say that I probably would never have bought this book. First of all, I’m not a huge fan of the Everlasting Love line. I don’t necessarily consider these books to be romances. In them, the authors tell epic stories that tend to span many, many years. The deal with heartbreak and loss as well as romance and joy. Second, this book had a ghost – a phenomena that I dislike reading about in most instances. Third, these type of books often make me cry – and that generally isn’t something I want to do when I am reading for pleasure. I don’t think these stories are bad. They just aren’t the type of stories that I enjoy reading.
Despite all of the aforementioned reasons that made me reluctant to enjoy this story, I can say that I did enjoy it. It is epic in nature. Emily’s second husband, Ethan, comes back as a ghost – who actually burns down their seaside cottage. It isn’t a traditional type of romance. While Emily does fall in love twice in the book, the book is more about how Emily deals with her feelings of inadequacy, love and loss throughout several years of her life. And yes, I cried when Ethan died. However, Emily was a wonderful character – somewhat quirky with feelings of inadequacy and self-doubt that made her seem very real. I am quite glad that I did go ahead and decide to read this story.
Read first on February 24, 2008