Synopsis: The only thing more important to Cassandra Rowlands than becoming a concert pianist is her family. Cassie and her sisters are constantly trying to set up their widowed father, Reverend Andrew, on dates even though they rarely go as planned. Cassie’s latest candidate is Juliana, mother of Cassie’s colleague Antonio. But while trying to match-make their parents, Cassandra and Antonio start to fall for each other. The only problem is that Antonio isn’t free to marry Cassie…
Author: Carole Gift Page has written many fiction and nonfiction stories, but all have been inspirational. She has also received the CS Lewis Honor Book Award and been a finalist for many other awards. She gives testimonial all over the world hoping to encourage women to love the Lord.
Plot: The story gives nod to Charlotte Bronte‘s classic tale of Jane Eyre, but instead of a crazy hidden in the attic, it is a mysterious woman in the spare bedroom. Thankfully in this book no one dies a horrible death at least.
Subplot: There is a secondary plot weaving through the story based around Reverend Andrew Rowlands who lost his wife five years prior. The three sisters keep trying their hand at matchmaking because they feel their father needs feminine company on occasion. Their latest effort is Juliana, a woman who had been widowed herself and is mother to Antonio. I would have liked to see more malfunctioning match-making from the daughters, as I can just imagine what else could have gone wrong.
Character: A gorgeous Italian guy who can sing and writes songs for you? Not to mention that he is a college professor and a devoted Christian? Be still my heart because I’m about to swoon over Antonio Pagliarulo. His name just rolls off your tongue… well, once you figure out how to pronounce it anyways.
Romance: Cassandra has been fooled by love once before; she was courted by her TA years ago only to find out he was married and had a child! Needless to say, Cassie is a bit reticent when it comes to matters of the heart until she meets Antonio. The talented Italian seems to be the perfect man for Cassandra until she learns he is hiding a very important secret.
Note to Reader: While the characters’ faith in God is rather prominent throughout the novel, it is more a part of their personalities rather than the plot. If you dislike preachy books that try to force a moral onto the reader, this is a good book to pick up because it weaves faith into the story in a way that works.
Quote: It all seemed so perfect, like a story-book romance. I guess it was too good to be true.
The Verdict: It was somewhat predictable as I could guess who the mysterious woman was pretty early on, but I rather enjoyed it. I was moved by the story, sometimes to sadness and sometimes to chuckles, but also moved by how romantic Antonio could be.