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Alice At Heart (The Water Lilies Series Book 1) by [Smith, Deborah]
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Alice At Heart (The Water Lilies Series Book 1) Kindle Edition

4.2 out of 5 stars 111 customer reviews

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Length: 320 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Reclusive, wary, and known locally as Odd Alice, orphaned Alice Riley has always known she was different; but it isn't until she saves a child from drowning by using her phenomenal underwater abilities and links minds with drowning salvage diver Griffin Randolf and saves him, too, that her half-sisters learn of her existence, and she discovers how special she and Griffin really are. Old secrets, revenge, and passion fuel this compelling, intricately plotted story of love, trust, and acceptance, which successfully straddles the line between romance and fantasy and should appeal to fans of both genres. Recalling Susan Krinard's werewolf romances, Smith's new work nicely sets the stage for her projected romantic fantasy series, "Water Lilies." Smith (On Bear Mountain) is a respected writer of romances and other types of fiction and lives in Dahlonega, GA. [This title is also available as an e-book in Adobe Acrobat and MS Reader formats from Ed.]
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Alice, an ugly duckling with webbed feet who never grew into a swan, is taking a frigid winter swim in Lake Riley, high in the Georgia Appalachians, when she has a vision of a drowning diver. She sends Griffin Randolph a mental message to breathe and establishes a telepathic link. At the same time a little girl falls into the icy lake on the opposite shore, and, amazingly enough, Alice is able to save her, but the rescue puts her unhappily in the spotlight and under suspicion. Then the three glamorous Bonavendier sisters of Sainte's Point Island show up at the awards ceremony and inform Alice that she's their father's posthumous daughter. When Alice arrives at the island, she discovers that she and Griffin have a mysterious bond, that a long-standing enmity separates his family and hers, and that the Bonavendiers' past includes a mermaid great-grandmother and accusations of piracy. Readers of Alice Hoffman will enjoy Smith's surprisingly convincing blend of romance and magical realism. Diana Tixier Herald
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Product Details

  • File Size: 610 KB
  • Print Length: 320 pages
  • Publisher: BelleBooks, Inc. (January 1, 2002)
  • Publication Date: January 1, 2002
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #354,607 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Kelley Hartsell VINE VOICE on September 23, 2002
Format: Paperback
Courtesy of CK2S Kwips and Kritiques

Alice Riley has always been different from everyone else. She has special abilities and traits she needs to keep secret, for no one from her small town in Georgia could ever understand. She has unusual webbed toes and hair which grows exceptionally fact, requiring cutting every day. In addition, she is an incredible swimmer, extremely fast, able to "sing" underwater similar to what dolphins do, to see her way, and she is able to breathe underwater for hours at a time.

Alice never knew her parents, her mother dying when Alice was a baby and never knowing whom the father was. Her aunt raised her and hated her, considering Alice a freak of nature, as did the entire town. She had been good at keeping her special talents secret, until now, when two things happened. She had a vision of a man dying in a scuba diving accident and rescues him from across the ocean, with only her mind. The very same day, Alice rescued the Governor's granddaughter from drowning after hearing the child fall in the lake, from several miles away.

Griffin Randolph is a professional treasure hunter. He is in Spain working a job, when one of his men gets trapped in the debris of a WWII ship, still holding live ammunition. He gets his friend free but is caught in an explosion as he is leaving the ship, almost dying. The only thing that kept him alive was a vision of a beautiful woman, known only as Alice, who tells him to breathe underwater.

Lilith Bonavendier reads in the paper of the rescue of the young child, realizing Alice is her long lost half-sister, thought to have died at birth. Lilith and her other two sisters, Pearl and Mara go after Alice to bring her back to the family home at Sainte's Point Island, off the coast of Georgia.
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Format: Paperback
Alice has never fit in. She was raised by her mother's family, who treated her as a chore, and not a family member. Alice has spent most of her life in and around the water, because that's where she feels most happy and at home. She can't explain why she can spend long periods of time underwater, and why she can swim better and faster than anyone else. She just knows it's what makes her happy.
In one day, the quiet existence she prefers is brought to public attention when she rescues the young daughter of the governor. Suddenly her abilities are questioned...but the publicity also brings her to the attention of the family she never knew she had, her father's family...water people, or what us landers would call them...mermaids.
This is not just a romance, it's a story of learning who you really are and accepting that. There's also a mystery from the past, and lots of old loves to be reunited. For those who have read Deborah Smith's books in the past, you know she always delivers an unbelievably wonderful read. She does not disappoint in this book either. Her writing is lyrical and magical and brings to life the underwater world of the water people. It made me a believer. This is supposed to be the first in the Waterlilies series, and I for one am looking forward to future books hinted at in this story.
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Format: Paperback
I know Deborah Smith professionally, but we're not intimates, and this is entirely unsolicited. I picked up ALICE AT HEART last night, pretty much at random. This book just knocked me out. Absolutely magical and, in my mind, a real masterpiece. Kudos to D.S. for producing something so fresh and so perfect.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This was an interesting book basically focused on trying to work the mythology of merpeople (mermaids, etc) into reality.

The writing was fine, not childish, decent dialogue, descriptive, although sometimes I felt like the author was trying to force just how amazingly sumptuous, ornate, and luxurious the home on Sainte Pointe is. There was a lot of "talking up" how beautiful the women are and how fantastic their home is, to the point that I felt: okay, I got it, enough already. Also, I got tired of all the talk of wombs. The author must really be proud of hers, but okay, again, enough already.

The characters were fine, too, though I don't think I really had a favorite or related deeply to them. At first, I thought I was going to relate strongly to Alice, but then that faded away midway through the story. I sort of came to like Pearl a little. Every character has a tragic past, but somehow those tragedies didn't strike me as deeply as the author wanted, I don't think. I liked the dolphins, but then, I just like dolphins.

This story didn't make me cry or even laugh much. There was a mystery involved, but I found it to be guessable before it was revealed. The romance was okay, but that between the two leads was rather dull, I thought. I actually found Mara's to be a bit more intriguing and emotional. (SLIGHT SPOILER) I think the biggest obstacle for me was that the main character is brought to a new place where she resists fitting in, even though others want her to fit in, and the author clearly has the objective that it's the right place for her--but it's not a place I would want to live and I didn't like the other people living there so when she does start to fit in I'm left thinking "why did you stay?
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