New book: Take Me Home, by Nancy Herkness [Theodorou] ’79 (Montlake Romance)
The author: A romance novelist, Theodorou (whose pen name is Nancy Herkness) was raised in the mountains of West Virginia, the setting for her fourth book. Before turning to writing, she worked in retail, computer programming, and marketing. She is the author of A Bridge to Love, Shower of Stars, and Music of the Night, was named a 2003 “Best Up and Coming Author” in Affaire de Coeur’s Readers’ poll, and has won other awards.
The book: Claire Parker returns to Sanctuary, W.Va., after a messy divorce. As she tries to readjust to small town life and mend her relationship with her sister, she bonds with Willow, an abused Thoroughbred mare. Claire meets the horse’s attractive and rugged veterinarian, Tim Arbuckle, who is grieving for his wife and never thought he would fall in love again. When Willow becomes sick, Claire and Tim work together to try to save the horse’s life.
Opening lines: “Breathing in the scent of fresh hay and saddle soap, Claire felt the knots of tension loosen their grip on her shoulders. She stood just outside the stable door, her face tilted up to let the early summer sunshine stroke her cheeks and forehead, its warmth suffusing the cotton of her tee shirt and the denim of her jeans. The stable had become her refuge in the past few weeks. The well-kept brick buildings, the bluish green mountains rising behind them, and the constant motion of powerful, glossy horses pushed her problems away for an hour or so.”
Review: “Like slipping into a warm bath, Herkness eases readers into her story. She’s spot on when it comes to tugging at the heartstrings, and the vibrant setting of West Virginia mountains is perfect for characters who will haunt readers long after the last page is turned. Animal lovers will especially be delighted,” wrote a critic for RT Book Reviews.
Read more: PAW’s story on Herkness in the Nov. 19, 2003 issue.