Peggy Adams is in Las Vegas with her best friend Bex for a bachelorette party. She wakes up in a strange man's room after a night of too-strong margaritas, fully clothed (thank God!) and with no memory of the events of the previous evening. Mortified, she sneaks out without waking him and gets home to New York and her live in boyfriend of seven years, Brock, as quickly as possible. A worrier by nature, she can't help dwelling on what might have happened during the time she can't remember. But she tries not to think about it, it's over and done with, right?
Not quite. Peggy receives a phone call from Luke Sedgwick, who happens to be the sleeping man from the hotel room. Turns out they had impulsively gotten married during their evening together. Whoops. They agree that a swift annulment would be the best solution for both of them.
Luke, along with his ninety-one year old great aunt Abigail, is all that is left of the old Sedgwick family of New Nineveh, Connecticut. They have a crumbling old family mansion, their family name, each other, a cat, and not much else. Luke is trapped trying to juggle the frail family finances and Abigail's failing health. She has absolutely refused to consider selling the house. When she finds out about Luke's marriage, she makes the couple an offer that they can't refuse.
Abigail's offer? Stay married for one year, at the end of that year she will sign the house over to them to do with whatever they wish. With a value of three million dollars, they could split the proceeds of its sale and both have enough money to finance their dreams. Luke could provide health care for Abigail and finance his own poetry writing, Peggy could shore up the faltering New York store that she and Bex have owned for the last decade. A win/win situation for them both.
But the deal requires Peggy to spend her weekends at the Sedgwick house in Connecticut, where she must pretend to really be Luke's wife while mixing with the Sedgwick friends and neighbors. She is as far from an upper-crust Connecticut socialite as it is possible to be and fitting in is not at all easy. Things become even more confusing when she begins to care for her new life, the town, the house, Abigail and especially Luke.
This is an endearing, witty novel whose characters will charm you. I loved the slow development of the relationship between Peggy and Luke and the revealing look at WASPY life the story provides. It is a perfect summer read: fun, with enough drama to make it interesting and even a little mystery thrown in. Though the ending is predictable (what romance ending isn't?), getting there is a treat.
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