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Hayley Phillips has come to Memphis hoping for a new start, for herself and her unborn child. She isn't looking for a handout from her distant cousin, Roz just a job. What she finds is a home complete with resident ghost, and the best friends she's ever had. And if Roz's son, Harper, occasionally shows up in her private fantasies as more than a friend...well, she'll just have to get over it. Her new daughter, Lily, is the focus of her life now; and Hayley is reluctant to risk her friendship with Harper and her new life on the promise of an affair. However, the ghost - a madwoman who has been haunting the family home for centuries - has now turned her attentions to Hayley, consuming her thoughts and dreams. Harper is determined to protect her, but before Hayley can begin to trust her growing feelings for him, they must battle to discover the truth behind the ghost's despair, so that they can finally lay her spirit to rest.
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The final book of Roberts's "In the Garden" trilogy sees the bride going on a full-frontal assault, with Hayley and Harper in the spotlight. Susie Breck, who reads the series, shows empathy for our ghost, Amelia. And although Amelia is clearly psychotic, Breck never makes her shrill or maniacal; her approach is more tempered, allowing us to see Amelia's love for her child, however corrupted. The narrator's lilting Southern accent is pleasurable rather than affected and isn't used to displace individual characterizations. There is less romantic development in this book, since Hayley and Harper are a given, leaving the onus of the story on the mystery, which wraps up neatly. Breck's reading adds interest; highly recommended.-Jodi L. Israel, MLS, Jamaica Plain, MA Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.