From Publishers Weekly
In the years since her last romance, 2002's Sentimental Journey, Barnett has grown rusty; chronicling three generations of Banning men and Peyton women through the years, Barnett depends on busyness and happenstance to take the place of solid plot and genuine relationships. The two SoCal families first intertwine in 1957 when Rudy Banning kills himself; his artist wife, Rachel; and the rock star Jimmy Peyton in a car accident. The Bannings leave behind two preteen sons, who go into the care of wealthy, demanding patriarch Victor Banning. Jud, the elder son, goes into the family business while Cale, a reckless skirt chaser, takes a winding path to med school. Improbably, Cale meets Jimmy Peyton's daughter, Laurel, on a beach in 1970, but Laurel also catches Jud's eye and soon comes between them. A growing pile of plot-propelling coincidences stretch believability: Laurel's grandmother unknowingly purchases some of the late Rachel's art; years later, Laurel's grown daughter wins a design contract with Cale's son; and everyone hides secrets. It's pure soap opera, buttressed only by Barnett's stock observations ("[S]ilence between people said more than words ever could"), but it may suit readers who like their heroes attractive and their endings happy. (June)
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One night in 1957, two cars collide, and the repercussions of the fatal accident form a compelling tale. Orphaned brothers Jud and Cale are raised by their grandfather, Victor Banning, a ruthless corporate titan. Aspiring musician Jimmy Peyton leaves behind gold records and a four-year-old daughter, Laurel, who will be raised by his distraught wife and domineering mother. Years later the three survivors meet after Laurel, a precocious teenager who dreams of becoming a chef, has moved to Catalina, California. Laurel is initially smitten with Jud but then falls in love with his younger brother, Cale. Their long-brewing sibling rivalry erupts as they each fight for the love of lonely Laurel. Barnett delivers a well-written novel filled with enough emotion, passion, and drama to please Danielle Steel fans. Patty Engelmann
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