Lexie Smithfield finds herself traveling back to Jekyll Island to the Millionaire's Club following the death of her older brother at Pearl Harbor and the subsequent death of her mentally ill mother. She's the sole survivor of the Smithfield family, and she's been summoned with a mysterious telegram telling her that Destiny, her family's lovely vacation home, needs her. The family accountant has warned her that it's no longer financially feasible to maintain the home, and she plans to stay on the island only long enough to make arrangements for necessary repairs and sell it.
Her plans change, though, when she arrives and finds a childhood friend, Russell Parker, keeping alive his family's tradition of working on the island. Though he has responsibilities keeping things running smoothly around the sumptuous resort, he still finds time to show Lexie around and help her with her own duties before she can sell the house. It seems, however, that someone's been ransacking the home in the long absence since the family last visited. That, along with a bitter handyman, attacks by German U-boats against American tankers in the waters off the island, the fact that her mother always claimed the family was cursed by the island, and an overzealous suitor from Lexie's past make it impossible for her to leave before solving some mysteries. Who sent the cryptic telegram? Is the gruff handyman her worst enemy or a protective guardian? Is there more to Lexie's father's death than she was told? Is the Smithfield family cursed as her mother believed? Meanwhile, Russell and Lexie find their childhood friendship is morphing into a possible future together.
Marilyn Turk does a fine job of taking the reader back to the early years of World War II when rumors abounded and the all-too-real dangers of war reigned supreme. The characters are nicely developed, the plot line is interesting (with a twist here and there), and the setting is beautiful. This was a relatively quick read, but it nevertheless held my attention to the end, and I recommend it to anyone looking for a wholesome historical romance.
Marilyn Turk's roots are in the coastal South, born and raised in Louisiana, now a Florida resident. A multi-published author, she loves history and likes to put her fictional characters in real events of the past. A fascination for lighthouses spawned her popular weekly lighthouse blog @pathwayheart.com, and inspired her to write Lighthouse Devotions. She has published two historical fiction books so far - The Gilded Curse, a 1942-era suspense, and Rebel Light, a Civil War suspenseful love story and Book One of the Coastal Lights Legacy series.