A Cottage by the Sea

Written by Ciji Ware
Review by Susan Zabolotny

A Cottage by the Sea is very much a modern romance novel with glimpses of 18th-century Cornwall. The story begins in Hollywood, where Blythe Barton Stowe is a set designer married to her college sweetheart, famed director Christopher Stowe. They are living a lifestyle of the rich and celebrated. When Blythe learns of her husband’s infidelity with her sister and the pregnancy he had denied her, she files for divorce and flees to a remote estate in Cornwall. Raised on a ranch in Wyoming by her Grandmother Barton, she remembers rumors of possible family roots in Cornwall and plans to research her past while finding solace in the remote countryside.

The owner of the estate is Lucas Teague, a handsome widower. He and his young son are reeling from a loss of their own. Lucas is struggling financially and agrees to a business partnership with Blythe that could save his family home. On her first visit to the manor, Blythe touches the genealogy chart in his library and is quickly transported back to 1793 and the first Blythe Barton. These travels through time reveal a history of her family connection with Lucas Teague’s family and a love triangle more traumatic and dangerous than the one she has experienced in the modern day.

The sexual tension between Lucas and Blythe arrives early in the novel. When the unexpected happens and Blythe must come to terms with her feelings for Lucas, she makes a final trip into the past to find out what happened to her namesake and learns the power of forgiveness. Ware has done a good job with the research for this novel. I could have done with a little less of Blythe’s and Granny Barton’s Western colloquialisms, but overall it was a good read.