Monday, 9 January 2012

Jericho by Ann McMan

Syd (Margaret) Murphy, packs up her home in Durham and begins the long drive to Virginia. Her life in Durham is over, just like her ill fated marriage to Jeff. She has an eighteen month contract to set up and run a new library in Virginia. This will be a complete new beginning for her.

Dr Maddie Stevenson moved back to Virginia to take over her deceased father’s medical practice. She is currently driving to North Carolina when she notices a blue Volvo with it’s flashers on at the side of the road and a flat tire. She pulls over. This chance meeting between Syd and Maddie means that life for both women as they know it will never be the same again.

Syd explains to Maddie that she is on her way to Jericho to set up a new library. Of course, Maddie knows all about the project. Maddie changes the tire for Syd and they have coffee by the river with Maddie’s dog Pete and then go their own separate ways.

Maddie and Syd run into each other a few more times and it seems they are destined to become friends. It’s not long before Maddie and Syd begin to spend a lot of time together and Syd becomes friends with Maddie’s closest friends, David and his partner Michael, the local inn owners.

Before long, Maddie begins to feel a strong attraction to Syd, but denies her feelings, after all, Syd is still married and straight, isn’t she? None of this stops David from throwing the two women together and trying to play matchmaker, much to Maddie’s annoyance. What will happen when Syd finds out Maddie is gay? Will she still want her as a friend? Or will she be so disgusted she won’t want to see Maddie anymore?

Syd is feeling rather confused about her own feelings towards Maddie. She doesn’t want to let on about the attraction she is feeling for her. Maddie may not want her as a friend if she finds out. Will Syd be able to hide her feelings? Maddie mustn’t find out, she may be so disgusted, she might not want Syd as a friend anymore?

Will Syd and Maddie finally admit how they feel for each other?

This first book by Ann McMan does not read like a debut novel. The book is well written and is a nice long read and full to the brim with the delightful, humorous story of Syd and Maddie, their friends and colleagues, their lives, jobs, hopes and their quest for love. The characters are well formed, honed to perfection in fact.

Maddie and Syd’s characters grabbed me right from the beginning. Their lives and that of their friends reads like a dream. There is a very strong and excellent cast of supporting characters. I loved David and Michael, their two forever friends. As the book progressed, more likeable characters are introduced. All of which fit seamlessly into the story adding a richness to my reading experience. To say I enjoyed this book would be an understatement. Loved, adored, brilliant, laugh out loud and amusing would also not begin to do this book justice.

Where the walls of Jericho once came tumbling down, so the walls around Syd’s and Maddie’s hearts also crumbled piece by piece until all that is left there is pure unadulterated love.

Once in a while a good romance really makes an impression on me. This is high on my list for a re-read and I’ve clearly marked Ann McMan’s future books as a must buy. I hope there is a sequel in the pipeline to Jericho. These characters have so much more to offer. I want to see where they go next. If you like romance and you want a good book to curl up with on a few cold winter nights, this is the one.

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