Summer of Roses

Summer of Roses

by Luanne Rice

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Few novelists touch our hearts, quicken our souls, and enrich our lives like Luanne Rice. Now she brings full circle one of her most compelling explorations of the heart . . . all the ways it can be broken . . . and the magic that makes it whole again.

On the windswept coast of Nova Scotia, two friends and their young daughters have found refuge in the rugged community of Cape Hawk. Lily Malone and nine-year-old Rose are making a new home with a man who will do whatever it takes to protect them. Marisa Taylor and young Jessica are beginning to recapture the music that once filled their world with joy.

But now a stranger from faraway New England has made his way to Cape Hawk, bearing secrets from the past and news of an uncertain future. And each woman will face choices that will irrevocably shape all the seasons to come—between lives left behind, mysteries unsolved, and loves that must be reclaimed or abandoned forever. . . . 

“Luanne Rice has enticed millions of readers by enveloping them in stories that are wrapped in the hot, sultry weather of summer . . . she does it so well.”—USA Today

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780553587661
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 05/30/2006
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 416
Sales rank: 321,139
Product dimensions: 4.20(w) x 6.80(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Luanne Rice is the author, most recently, of Last Kiss and Light of the Moon, among many other New York Times bestsellers. She lives in New York City and on the Connecticut shore.

Date of Birth:

September 25, 1955

Place of Birth:

New Britain, CT

Read an Excerpt

Summer of Roses

Chapter 1

How does a person reenter a life she left nine years earlier?

Knowing that there had been a relentless search for her, that her picture had been plastered on the front pages of every newspaper in Connecticut and beyond? Understanding that every local police department remained on the lookout for her? Realizing that all but one of her friends and family have given her up for dead?

The answer is, she walks right in the front door.

That’s what Lily Malone did in the very-early-morning hours of August ninth. Just past one A.M., Liam Neill parked his truck in the turnaround at Hubbard’s Point, lifted Rose–sleeping, after the long drive from Nova Scotia–and followed Lily down the stone steps.

Lily glanced at the arch over the wishing well–there was the house name, Sea Garden, its letters just a little more rusty, a bit more filigreed from the salt air, than they had been nine years earlier. The sight gave her a pang so deep, she gasped out loud. Lily was really home. A breeze blew off Long Island Sound–salt water, just like the Gulf of St. Lawrence in Maritime Canada, where she had lived and hidden these last nine years. But this night breeze was warm, gentle, filled with scents of marsh grass and sandy beaches–instead of the fjord’s arctic cliffs and cold, clear water flowing straight off the pack ice.

“Oh my,” she said out loud, alive with the thrill of finally coming home. The roses greeted her–their perfume filled the air, and if the ones growing up the trellis beside the front door were slightly less well tended than they’d been nine years ago, they were still profuse and extravagant. Lily reached up, through the thorns, to feel underneath the shingle just beside the dark porch light, and there it was–the key her grandmother had always kept hidden there, guarded by the roses’ foliage and thorns. “She didn’t move it,” she whispered.

“Of course she didn’t,” Liam said in her ear, standing behind her with Rose. “She never stopped hoping you’d come back.”

“Maeve is coming home too,” Lily said, opening the squeaky screen door, holding it open with her shoulder, fumbling with the key in the rusty old door lock. “Right? Tell me she’s going to be okay–”

“She will be, Lily,” Liam said.

Lily felt the key turn. Nine years later, the door made the same bump as it opened, one of the hinges hanging just slightly. Stepping into the kitchen . . . smelling beach-house dampness encroaching from the absence of its owner. Yet someone–Clara, obviously–had opened a few windows. Lily walked through the first floor as if she were a ghost, haunting her most beloved, familiar place on earth.

Lily began to smile. “It’s all the same,” she whispered. The moon had risen out of the Sound, casting a gleaming white light on the calm water, its pale light flooding the room. Lily saw the familiar slipcovers, braided rugs, pillows she had needlepointed for her grandmother.
She ran her fingers over her old shell collection, books in the bookcase, moonstones gathered at low tide on Little Beach.

She had to see everything, yet she couldn’t turn on a lamp yet. If she turned on a light, it would mean she was committed to this. “This” meaning that she was really here, that her exile was over, that she had returned to the land of the living. Neighbors would see the light and come over. People would know that she was back.

Edward would find out.

“Where does Rose sleep?” Liam asked.

“In my room,” Lily whispered. She led him up the narrow stairs. The second floor had four small bedrooms–beach-cottage in size and feel. Lily’s heart was racing as she entered her old room. Under the eaves on the north side, it had funny ceiling angles, a twin bed, and her old Betsy McCall paper dolls right there on the bureau. Pulling down the covers, she choked up to see the sheets–imprinted with tiny bouquets of blue roses–and a pink summer-weight blanket. She bent down to smell the bedding–it was fresh.

“My grandmother knew we were coming,” she said. “Somehow, before she went to the hospital, she made up the bed for Rose.”

Together they tucked Rose in. The little girl stirred, opening her eyes, glancing around the unfamiliar room in dream-state wonder. “Are we here?” she asked.

“Yes, honey. You’ll see it all tomorrow morning. Good night.”

“Night,” Rose murmured as her eyes fluttered shut.

Lily and Liam went back downstairs. Moonlight was dazzling on the water in front of the house. Lily had watched countless moonrises from this room, through the wide, curtainless windows overlooking the rocks and sea. Everything seemed so open compared to the pineshrouded cabin she’d lived in at Cape Hawk, Nova Scotia–she had hidden in a boreal forest, with hawks and owls as sentries.

Liam had been one of the first people she’d met, arriving in the distant, unfamiliar town–disguised by cropping her long dark hair, dying it light brown, wearing the old horn-rimmed spectacles her grandmother had given her. He had been her friend and savior, even though she had rejected him every step of the way. She had to, to protect herself and her unborn baby.

Lily’s first weeks in Nova Scotia had been a dark fairy tale, complete with cabin deep in the North Woods, a bounty on her head in the form of a reward posted by Edward, and the benevolent presence of the fierce and kindly Liam–there for Rose’s birth, delivering the baby on the kitchen floor, and swearing to protect forever this mother and child.And there had been plenty of protecting for him to do: born with complex heart defects, Rose had just completed her last round of surgery earlier that summer.

Brokenhearted baby, brokenhearted mother, Lily thought, gazing out at the moon on the Sound. Her arm was around Liam, and his around her. Gulls called from across the water, from their rookery on the rock islands half a mile offshore. Lily felt the sound in her heart, and thought of the annual Ceili Festival, just about to start in Cape Hawk, the Irish music as haunting as the gulls’ cries.

She looked up at Liam–tall and lean, his blue eyes shadowed with his own private sorrows. Ravaged by the shark that killed his brother, Liam had one arm–and the childhood nickname, “Captain Hook,” that had made him both a laughingstock and a tragic figure in his small town. Liam would have none of that–he blazed his way through university and graduate school, becoming a respected oceanographer and ichthyologist–studying great whites, the species that had torn apart his family and his own body.

Lily wasn’t exactly sure what had brought them together. And she wasn’t even sure she cared. They had found each other in that far northern town. She had run so far from home, and found something like a replacement family. Anne, Marisa, Marlena . . . her friends and needlepointing club, the Nanouk Girls of the Frozen North, had been like her sisters. And Liam. He had been present at Rose’s birth, and he’d never gone away. Those nine years in Cape Hawk had strengthened Lily more than anything she could have imagined.

Her grandmother’s illness had called her back to Hubbard’s Point. Patrick Murphy, the lead detective on the case of Lily’s disappearance, had finally found her in Cape Hawk. The minute she heard of Maeve’s illness, everything else fell away. Lily knew what she had to do.

She came home.

“I’m really here,” she said, leaning against Liam.

“Are you ready for tomorrow?” he asked.

“I have to be,” she said.“My grandmother needs me.”

“I know,” he said. His voice was low and calm.He touched her hair, and her skin tingled. They were still very new.Was it possible that just a few weeks ago they had kissed for the first time? After a whole lifetime of loving Rose, they were really together.

“I don’t want Rose to ever know him,” Lily said, and she didn’t even have to say his name.

“Let me take her away,” Liam said. “I’ll hide her. Only you’ll know where we are.”

Lily’s heart skipped, a stone scaling over the water’s surface. What if he really could? What if she could hide Rose from Edward forever?

“Living in Canada,” she said, “I’ve felt so powerful. I had complete control over her safety. Now that we’re back in the States, what if he comes after her? He’ll see her as a way to get to me. And me as a way to get to her.

She leaned back against his strong chest, as his one arm came around her from behind. They rocked against each other, staring at the moon’s silver path across the water.

“I think you should go see your grandmother,” he said. “But you should let me take Rose somewhere safe.”
“We could ask Patrick for help,” Lily said.

“We could,” Liam said. “But I have an old friend at the University of Rhode Island. Graduate school of oceanography. He has a place near Scarborough Beach, on Narragansett Bay. He’d let us stay with him. It’s not that far away.”

“Rose has never been away from me,” Lily said, feeling her heart tighten. “Except for going to the hospital.”

“You’d be doing it for her,” Liam said. “To keep her away from
Edward, until you know what to expect.”

“She’d love being with you,” Lily murmured. Rose loved Liam with everything she had. For her ninth birthday, barely a month ago, she had wished for two things: to see Nanny, the legendary white whale of Cape Hawk, and to have a real father like Liam.“How much should I tell Rose?”

“However much you think she can handle.”

How could Lily begin to know what that was? Rose had just come through open-heart surgery. She was healing from what was supposed to be the final operation necessary to correct the last of the multiple heart defects–Tetralogy of Fallot–she’d been born with.

“I don’t know,” she said. “She’ll have so many questions.”

“It’s going to work out, Lily,” Liam said.

“You’ve made big promises to me before,” Lily said, smiling. None bigger than the fact that he would always be there, never desert
Rose–the heart-stricken baby he had brought into this world.

“And they’ve come true, right?”

“So far,” she said, turning to tilt her head back, kissing him long and hard, feeling her blood tingle as it moved through her body. Every touch of Liam’s was a promise, with the energy of magic. Outside, the waves hit the rocks, and leaves rustled in the breeze. Lily shivered, wanting more of everything.

“So the answer is yes?” Liam asked.

Lily closed her eyes, unable to speak. Everything had been happening so fast–from hearing about Maeve, to deciding to come out of hiding, to driving down from Nova Scotia.

“You don’t have to decide right now,” he said. “You need some sleep, Lily. You’ll know what to do in the morning.”

“Once the sun comes up,” Lily said, “Clara will see your truck.
She’ll come over to investigate. If she sees you and Rose, there’ll be no keeping it secret. Not that she means any harm–in fact, I can’t wait to see her.”

“I know,” Liam said. “You’re thinking it would be unfair to ask her to go along with something she might not understand. Let’s go to bed–we have until dawn to decide.”

“In just a few hours,” Lily said.

Holding hands, they went upstairs again. Lily still hadn’t turned on a light. She still hadn’t let herself take that extra step. It didn’t matter–she knew every inch of this house in the dark. Every draft, every creaky board, every piece of furniture.Her grandmother hadn’t changed anything since Lily had left.

Yet here in this cottage she knew better than any place on earth, Lily waited for the answers. She couldn’t help the joy she felt–she loved the warm breeze, the smell of her grandmother’s roses. She led Liam into the largest bedroom–the one her grandmother had always saved for guests–in the front of the house, where dormer windows jutted out over the sloping roof, facing the moonlit bay. Lily cranked open the casement windows as wide as they could go.

A gust of air fluttered the sheer white curtains and cooled Lily’s hot skin. The sound of waves, rhythmically splashing the rocks down below, came through the windows. Lily went to check on Rose. She bent down, watched her daughter’s chest rise and fall. Rose’s breath was like the waves–steady, sure, one after the other. Lily knew that
Rose would be in good hands with Liam, but the idea of letting her beautiful girl out of her sight was almost impossible to bear.

“Lily,” Liam whispered, in the doorway behind her, his hand on her shoulder. “Come to bed.”

Lily shook her head. She couldn’t move. How could something so peaceful fill her with such fear? Rose was sleeping in Lily’s own childhood bed; the summer breeze carried scents of honeysuckle and hundreds of red, pink, and white roses. The old words came back to her: white roses bruise so easily. Staring down at her daughter, she calmed herself with the hard-won certainty that Edward wasn’t even aware that Rose existed.

As far as Edward knew, Lily was dead. She had died–everyone believed–nine years ago, when she was eight and a half months pregnant. Lily felt a rush, and she shuddered. It was as if she had just been granted a free pass by the gods. Edward didn’t know about Rose. . . .

“I want you to do it,” she said without turning around, not taking her eyes off her daughter’s face, long brown lashes resting on delicate cheekbones, mouth ever-so-slightly open. Her left arm was bent at the elbow, fingertips on her neck, protecting the scar where she’d had open-heart surgery. “I want you to take her.”

“I’ll take care of her,” Liam whispered.

Lily nodded. “I know you will. You always have.”

She knelt by Rose’s bed, staring at her for a long minute–until
Rose sighed and turned. Not wanting to wake her up, Lily kissed her sleeping daughter’s head, and followed Liam into the bedroom. She knew that nothing in the world could make her send Rose away, force her to take this action, except for one thing: a need to see her grandmother, the woman who had raised her, and make sure she got well.

Nothing else could do it.

Pulling down the white chenille bedspread, curling up beside Liam, she closed her eyes. The sound of the waves merged with the rise and fall of Liam’s chest. She counted the waves, felt his heartbeats. Outside the open window, the gulls on their island rookeries cried and cried.

Lily just stared at the moon, hanging outside the window, as she listened to the cries of the gulls, Liam’s breath on her neck. She pulled his arm even tighter around her, and she prayed that she was doing the right thing.

Dawn came up like thunder, and Liam Neill knew there wasn’t much time. He knew he had to get Rose away, and yet he didn’t know how to leave. He wanted to stay with Lily.

Lily made coffee and oatmeal, and then she got Rose washed and dressed. The sky went from deep purple to cerulean blue as the sun crowned the eastern horizon. Liam had heard so much about Hubbard’s Point–it was almost mythical to him, the place where Lily had grown up, where her beloved Maeve had raised prizewinning roses and nurtured a strong, beautiful granddaughter. Liam stepped out on the side porch, drinking coffee and staring at the granite ledges sloping down to Long Island Sound. The cottage sat almost at the tip of a promontory–the Point of Hubbard’s Point, as Lily had told him and Rose on the drive down from Cape Hawk.

Liam looked across the side yard toward a similar cottage–built of weather-silvered shingles, with turquoise shutters and door, white window boxes filled with red geraniums–and saw someone peering out a window.

He faded back, close to the house, then disappeared inside. Finding Lily and Rose in the kitchen, talking at the table, he tapped Lily’s shoulder.

“Someone just saw me,” he said. “Looking over from next door.”

“That’s Clara,” Lily said. “She always gets up with the sun, in time for the Hartford Courant.

“We’d better go,” Liam said.

“But I don’t get it,” Rose said, her brow wrinkled. “I thought we just got here.”

Lily took a deep breath. Liam knew what this was doing to her–he touched her glossy dark hair, stroking it for support. She looked Rose in the eyes.

“Honey,” she said. “You and Liam are going to stay somewhere else for a few days. It won’t be far away from here–not too far, anyway– and I’ll know where you are every minute.”

“Why aren’t you coming?” Rose asked.

“I have to see about my grandmother.”

“Your granny?”

Lily nodded. “Yes. You know she’s sick–”

“That’s why we came here, from Cape Hawk.”

Lily stared at Rose, as if trying to decide how much to say. Liam kept watch out the side window, knowing that they didn’t have much time.

“It is why we came,” Lily said. “But long ago, there was a reason why I left here. I have to . . . take care of all that, before you come back to stay.”

“Mommy,” Rose said her voice breaking with panic.

“Rose, it won’t take very long.”

“I want you to come with us.”

“I will come find you,” Lily said. “Very soon, Rose–as soon as I straighten everything out. It won’t be long–I promise you. And in the meantime, you’ll be with Liam.”

Rose hesitated. She still looked worried, but she glanced up at Liam for reassurance. He smiled down at her and squeezed her hand.
She raised her arms, and he lifted her up. He leaned close to Lily– their eyes met and locked.

“Take good care of her,” Lily said.

“I will. As if she were my own,” Liam said, leaning forward, so Lily could embrace Rose and Liam could hold them both at the same time. Their bags were in the truck. Lily had his cell phone number and he had left her all the additional information he could–addresses and telephone numbers for John Stanley’s home and lab, a hand-drawn map of how to find his house in Narragansett.

“Bye, sweetheart,” Lily said, her voice thin and her eyes moist.

“Bye, Mommy.”
“I’ll call you,” Liam promised.

Lily waved him away. He glanced across the yard–the grass deep green, wet with dew–and saw the curtains fall again. Holding Rose, he walked up the sidewalk and stone steps, past the rose-covered well.

“What’s that?” Rose asked.

“A wishing well,” Liam said as he opened the truck door, buckled Rose into her seat. He strode around to the driver’s side and started the engine.

“In my great-grandmother’s yard?” Rose asked, sounding surprised.

“Yes,” Liam said, putting the truck in reverse just as he saw the door to the house next door open and a gray-haired woman start hurrying down her sidewalk.

“I wish,” Rose whispered. “I wish . . .”

Liam’s pulse was racing as he backed into the cul-de-sac. The Sound spread out on both sides of the Point, blue water surrounding the land. Graceful cottages perched on rock ledges, gardens spilling over with beach roses and wildflowers. He couldn’t take his eyes off Lily. She stood in the front yard, arms crossed tightly across her chest, hardly able to move.

“Who’s that lady?” Rose asked, watching the white-haired woman stop in her tracks. Then the woman shrieked, and started running toward Lily.

“It’s Clara,” Liam said, although he had never met her himself. “You’ll meet her someday.”

“I hope so,” Rose said, her voice thick. “She looks so happy to see

“She sure does,” Liam said. And then, with Lily holding out her arms to embrace her grandmother’s oldest friend, he shifted into gear and headed for Rhode Island.

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Summer of Roses 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 27 reviews.
Anonymous 5 months ago
wonderful ,heart felt continuation! loved every word! Great author!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved these books..I felt all the emotional upheaval and joy of the people in the story. Take the time to enjoy these stories.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
LindaR58 More than 1 year ago
I read this one right through - and even for the second time. Great story and characters.
jbarr5 More than 1 year ago
Summer of Roses Book 2 by Luanne Rice Lily and her friend Liam are back in Hubbard Point, CT at her grandmother's house after she left to go to the hospital. They arrived from Nova Scotia where Lily had hidden out for over 9 years. Patrick Murphy is the detective who found her and informed her of her grandmother's illness. Lily is afraid her husband, Edward will find out and come get their daughter from her. Love reading about familiar treasured things: moonstones, flowers, sea life, sounds from the ocean, smells from the ocean Rose the little girl, thinks that the whale that grew up with her mom followed them to Canada to send them back home to be with her grandmother. They have tracking devices attaches and can be followed via the computer. The needlecraft shop up where she ran to was being looked after for her by many of the people she was now friends with who had a similar liking to the craft. One woman Jessica's mom, Marisa was waiting to hear from her sister, Sam who was in Peru to help others. They had a falling out a while ago and haven't contacted one another. Music also connected them and there was a musical fair in town. The investigator, Patrick had found Lily and he also was introduced to Marisa and she called him when he was offshore in his boat in CT to ask him to find her sister. It might cause major problems so she told him not to find her in Peru. Then she played him their favorite song on the fiddle. He fell in love. Lily's husband was evil, that's why she ran away to Canada. Lily thinks Edward had something to do with her grandmother being in the hospital also. She hoped she would come out of her coma so they could talk. Love hearing about the Ghost Hills as I've never experienced that nor the rogue waves that come with them. Marisa and Lily share something in common that holds the key to the whole investigation. And the big mystery of the dolphins needs to be solved... Loved how they all are connected with one another.
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Chris914 More than 1 year ago
I found it exciting, romantic and sad. In order to meet the characters, set the plot you must read them in order. I found at times I couldn't put it down. This was the first time I had read anything by this author and now will most likely read others.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I got this on audio. I enjoyed the easy listening, while the author still addressed the issue of domestic violence.
TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
SUMMER OF ROSES is the perfect sequel to last year's SUMMER'S CHILD. The relationships that began in that first book--that between Lily and Liam; the health of young Rose; the fleeing of Marisa and her daughter, Jessica; the culmination of former detective Patrick's search for Maura; the ending health crisis of Maeve; the horrors rendered by abuser Edward Hunter--are all beautifully brought to a conclusion.

I loved SUMMER'S CHILD, but was sometimes irritated at the slow pace of the storyline starring Liam and Lily. Although the abuse she'd suffered at the hands of her first husband, Edward, forced the progression to be a slow one, nine years is a really long time!

Thankfully, things move faster in SUMMER OF ROSES, and I treasured each scene as it unfolded. Although the book can stand alone, I highly recommend reading SUMMER'S CHILD first, because the background information you'll gain on each character will make you appreciate this current offering even more.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
I do believe that the author did achieve her purpose of writing this novel. Throughout the entire novel, we see how the characters are hurt but are then lifted up thanks to family and friends. The novel was interesting and with the events that were happening, I wanted to keep reading. There was never a dull moment in the book. Just when things were going well, she had Edward show up and cause some chaos, between many of the characters. I would recommend the book to other readers who are either my age or older than I am.
Guest More than 1 year ago
SUMMER OF ROSES is the perfect sequel to last year's SUMMER'S CHILD. The relationships that began in that first book--that between Lily and Liam the health of young Rose the fleeing of Marisa and her daughter, Jessica the culmination of former detective Patrick's search for Maura the ending health crisis of Maeve the horrors rendered by abuser Edward Hunter--are all beautifully brought to a conclusion. I loved SUMMER'S CHILD, but was sometimes irritated at the slow pace of the storyline starring Liam and Lily. Although the abuse she'd suffered at the hands of her first husband, Edward, forced the progression to be a slow one, nine years is a really long time! Thankfully, things move faster in SUMMER OF ROSES, and I treasured each scene as it unfolded. Although the book can stand alone, I highly recommend reading SUMMER'S CHILD first, because the background information you'll gain on each character will make you appreciate this current offering even more.
Guest More than 1 year ago
What a great book. I couldn't put it down. I laughed and cried, then cried again. I could feel the love and friendship. It made me feel like I want to be a 'Nanook girl' in Cape Hawk. Thank you for a wonderful and moving story.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I so looked forward to reading the sequel of the excellently written SUMMER'S CHILD. This book was boring, much too repetitive page after page. I will not give up on Ms. Rice and will watch for her next novel. It has to be better than SUMMER OF ROSES.!!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I really did enjoy this book ..I read Summers Child first then this one right after its one of those stories that you'll really miss the characters after you're done..I hope Luanne Rice makes a third book of this story
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was BORING. The story was so contrived. It seemed that after nine years of carefully hiding, some of the decisions made by Lily seem really stupid and were included only to add drama. I couldn't wait for this book to end.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read this book and it is almost exactly like Summer's Child. The characters are the same but the spelling is different. The name of the detective is Patrick Murphy and not Mark Murphy. I thought I had read the sequil to this before this book but I can't find it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
A sequel to Summers' Child. I recommend getting Summer's Child first and jumping right into Summer of Roses. The story was beautiful about mending broken spirits!