Ready and Willing

Author: Elizabeth Bevarly

Publisher: Berkley

Release Date: November 4, 2008

Blue Ribbon Rating: 4.5

Format: PRINT

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Audrey Magill, a widow, lost her husband Sean, a police officer, three years ago when he was shot on the job.  She still considers herself married and continues to wear her wedding band on her finger and his high school ring on a chain around her neck, planning never to marry again.  Always a shy introvert, after her parents died, she retreated inside herself even more until she met Sean.  She worked as an accountant for years and as a hobby, she worked her first love, making hats and selling them in boutiques and online.  Now she is planning to fulfill her life’s dream.  She has left her accounting job, purchased a brick Victorian in Old Louisville and is using the first floor for her business, which she named Finery after her maiden name Fine.  Opening two weeks before the Kentucky Derby, she is hoping to cash in on the crowds who will be looking for hats to wear at the Derby. 

Nathaniel Summerfield, an attorney, is about to go into business with Edward Dryden.  The land Dryden Properties is developing was originally selected for quality, low-income housing that would have enabled struggling, single parent families to live better lives.  So now instead of safe homes for under privileged children, a new school to educate them and a daycare center to watch them while their mothers worked, Edward is going to build overpriced lofts and boutiques for rich people who don’t really need them.  Nathaniel does not know much about his family.  His mother was estranged from her family so he never met anyone from her side of the family.  His father died when Nathaniel was very young so he did not remember anything about him.  That left his mother to struggle to provide for the two of them the whole time he was growing up. 


Needing a chair for her new home, Audrey goes into the Third Avenue antique store, where a portrait of Captain Silas Leyton Summerfield fascinates her.  She becomes excited when she learns that the captain once owned and lived in the Victorian where she now lives.  Seeing the low price tag, she just has to have it.  After taking the portrait home, Audrey starts having dreams of the captain.  Then she begins seeing him and talking to him in her home.  Silas needs her help.  He came back because his several times great grandson is about to lose his soul and Silas needs her to intervene.


Audrey tries to help Silas and visits his several times great grandson Nathaniel at his office.  Though she tries to talk Nathaniel out of the deal, he believes the whole thing is ridiculous.  If that is not bad enough, she feels a strong attraction toward him, despite the fact that she still considers herself married.  Several hours after Audrey left Nathaniel’s office, he is at a meeting with Edward Dryden and they are about to sign the documents, sealing the deal.  He remembers that she told that if he signed the contracts with Edward, he would lose his soul.  Figuring that he needs the money more, he signs the papers.  As soon as Nathaniel signs his signature, he feels a strange twinge in his chest.  It is as if a part of him just panics and then disappears.  Suddenly he is so cold… a cold so powerful he even shivers.  How can he get his soul back?  As he and Audrey work together to find a way to get his soul back, he finds that holding her hand helps him get warm, but that does not work with anyone else, only Audrey.  Working so closely, they discover an attraction that could grow into so much more. 


READY AND WILLING is an unusual, but delightful paranormal romance.  Not only is there the main romance between Nathaniel and Audrey, but there is also an enchanting secondary romance involving the ghost Silas.  Brimming with romance, snappy dialogue, steamy love scenes, mystery, an intriguing plot and a charming old world ghost, this is a story you do not want to miss.  I definitely recommend READY AND WILLING to those who enjoy a great romance with a few surprises along the way.

By Romance Junkies Reviewer: Dottie

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