Three women learn that the heart of their historic home holds a mystery of years gone by, as number-one bestselling author Nora Roberts brings her In the Garden trilogy to a captivating conclusion, following Blue Dahlia and Black Rose.
A Harper has always lived at Harper House, the centuries-old mansion just outside of Memphis. And for as long as anyone alive remembers, the ghostly Harper Bride has walked the halls, singing lullabies at night...
Hayley Phillips came to Memphis hoping for a new start, for herself and her unborn child. She wasn't looking for a handout from her distant cousin Roz, just a job at her thriving In the Garden nursery. What she found was a home surrounded by beauty and the best friends she's ever had-including Roz's son Harper. To Hayley's delight, her new daughter Lily has really taken to him. To Hayley's chagrin, she has begun to dream about Harper-as much more than a friend...
If Hayley gives in to her desire, she's afraid the foundation she's built with Harper will come tumbling down. Especially since she's begun to suspect that her feelings are no longer completely her own. Flashes of the past and erratic behavior make Hayley believe that the Harper Bride has found a way inside of her mind and body. It's time to put the Bride to rest once and for all, so Hayley can know her own heart again-and whether she's willing to risk it...
It is 3.50am, my eyes are falling out of my head, but it was so worth it to wrap up this trilogy from Nora Roberts. I love it when a book does that to you, when it is so good that you just can't put it down!
Later...so staying up until 4am to finish a book probably isn't the smartest thing given that you still have to function later in the day! LOL!!
As this trilogy has progressed the story of the Harper Bride has become stronger and stronger, and in this book for me it was definitely the highlight. That doesn't mean to say that I didn't enjoy Harper and Hayley as a couple, but that my anticipation as to the discovery as to what actually happened to the ghost, Amelia, had been sufficiently tempted so that I just HAD to keep reading.
The interesting thing is that in relation to the ghost, her presence in the books, including how she manifested herself to the characters also grew as everyone got closer to the truth of her identity, and her role in the Harper family history, and I found her truly scary in this one. During this book she manifests herself by possessing Hayley, and the scenes where this happened were so well written - they were seamless, but you could feel the slide from where Hayley would be talking, to where it was Amelia talking so clearly - quite skillful, especially seeing as sometimes this change of viewpoint happened halfway during a sentence!
As for Hayley, I completely understand her concerns about undertaking a relationship with a man who she not only worked with, but she was friends with his mother, and living in his family home. I got the feeling though, especially throughout the last couple of books, that Harper had been the one who recognised very early on that he was developing feelings for Hayley, so it was something of a shorter build up in my opinion for Hayley.
Can I just say that I wouldn't mind a guy like Harper! Good with his hands, and knows how to treat a lady. Of course, it would be handy to not have to worry about the garden as well!!!
I did wonder though if things moved too fast for Hayley and Harper. Yes, in book time they had known each other for a couple of years, but once they did get together everything moved at break neck speed.
By finishing this book, I feel that I am saying goodbye to people that I have come to know, and in a way it is sad, but I am definitely looking forward to getting hold of Roberts' next trilogy. I guess you could say that I am rapidly becoming a fan, although because she has such a huge backlist it could take me a while to get through them all!!
Overall, an satisfying conclusion to a really good trilogy!