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A Cottage by the Sea

A Cottage by the Sea

3.9 145
by Ciji Ware

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"Do not start unless you want to be up all night!...Whether or not you believe in reincarnation, you'll believe in the ability of love to transcend time and place and the wonder of Ciji Ware's writing. Superb!" —Romantic Times (Gold Medal review)

One woman, one man, one shared fate...

A remote cottage on the wild coast of Cornwall


"Do not start unless you want to be up all night!...Whether or not you believe in reincarnation, you'll believe in the ability of love to transcend time and place and the wonder of Ciji Ware's writing. Superb!" —Romantic Times (Gold Medal review)

One woman, one man, one shared fate...

A remote cottage on the wild coast of Cornwall sounded to Blythe Barton Stowe like the perfect escape from the pain and humiliation of recent events in her Hollywood life. But soon she seems to be reliving a centuries-old tragedy, and the handsome owner of the shabby manor house on the hill appears vitally entwined in her destiny. As they unearth one shocking family secret after another, Blythe is forced to conclude that her intriguing neighbor is more than just an impecunious British gentleman bent on saving his ancestral home. And the impeccably honorable Lucas Teague begins to see Blythe as a lifeline in an otherwise bleak existence.

But is the unbridled attraction they're experiencing a dangerous distraction, or could it be strong enough to transcend the insurmountable complexities of time and place...?

"A deep, complex novel exploring love, betrayal, healing, and renewal in the human heart." —Affaire de Coeur

"A book to be savored and then put on the keeper shelf." —Gothic Journal

Editorial Reviews

Yankee Romance Reviewers
Nothing short of spectacular.
— Terra
From supernatural and history buffs to romance lovers and garden experts, this book will capture you beginning to end... eloquent and poetic .
— Kelly Moran
Night Owl Romance
A timeless novel... engaging characters, an engrossing plot, and entertaining dialogue.
Books with a Cup of Coffee
The perfect combination of romance and time travel.
— Sumana
Best Romance Stories

— CJ Harris
The Broken Teepee
I loved this book. It was romantic, it was well written... The writing was sharp and the dialog witty.
— Pricilla
Pudgy Penguin Perusals
It was almost as if I opened the book and was magically sucked into the pages while I walked every step with the characters.
— Kaye
Readin' and Dreamin
An enjoyable, solid story that kept me entertained... this novel wickedly blended past and present.
— Christy
A story of love and time travel
— Joan Burton
Queen of Happy Endings
A thoroughly compelling read and one I'm glad that Sourcebooks has re-released!
— Annie
Celtic Lady's Reviews
Enough mystery, romance and history to keep the reader enthralled to the end.
Libby's Library News
Ware paints a picture with words.
— Libby
Bookworm's Dinner
Mystical allure... Ware has written an absorbing romance of historical fiction
— Wisteria Leigh
Gossamer Obsessions
An interesting story and a well-developed heroine.
— AnimeJune
Passages to the Past
Full of humor, raw emotion, love, redemption and forgiveness.
— Amy
Romance Junkies
An unforgettable story, which will be remembered long after the last page is read and the book is closed.
— Dottie
Laura's Reviews
A thoroughly modern story with a historical fiction twist.
— Laura
An intriguing, enticing, complex and romantic novel that will keep readers up long into the night.
— Jennifer
Jenny Loves to Read
Ware represents Cornwall in all it's splendor with descriptions of the coast, the surrounding foliage, and village life.
— Jennifer
Books Like Breathing
Perfect... A mix of historical fiction, romance and even a bit of paranormal.
— Grace
Steph the Bookworm
The characters are well developed and likable.
— Stephanie
Mrs. Q Book Addict
The story was original, heart-wrenching and fresh.
— Jennifer
The Calico Critic
A well-formed narrative and skillful character development.
— Laura
Bookgirl's Nightstand
A light and entertaining book. I could imagine walking around in the beautiful gardens.
— Iliana
Love Romance Passion
A thinking woman's romance... [A Cottage by the Sea] deals with complex issues in an interesting way.
Between the Pages
When characters intrigue you and a plot mesmerizes you in it's twists and turns, how do you not keep turning pages? Unusual and special in it's originality...
— Lynda Coker
Bookfoolery and Babble
An enjoyable escapist romantic read.
— Nancy
The Burton Review

— Marie Burton
From the Publisher
"An enjoyable escapist romantic read." - Bookfoolery and Babble

Product Details

Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.30(d)

Read an Excerpt

From Chapter 2

In typical Cornish fashion the weather had changed abruptly by mid afternoon. The dark, rain-filled clouds that had greeted Blythe's arrival in the West Country quickly vanished and were replaced by benign puffs of white that drifted across a Wedgwood-blue sky.

Blythe set out for Barton Hall dressed in jeans and an ivory cable-knit turtleneck sweater. She walked along the public footpath that skirted the cliff side meadow, glancing back briefly at the sight of Painter's Cottage perched dramatically at its edge. She could hear the surf crashing on the narrow beach below, accompanied by friendly shrieks from gulls circling overhead. Wisps of smoke drifted from the chimney, the remnants of the crackling fire she'd carefully banked before her departure. Just as Lucas Teague suggested, she had soaked for an hour in piping-hot water while surveying the spectacular coastline in naked privacy.

A Bathtub with a View, she thought, smiling to herself as she reached the far corner of the grassy field. For the first time in months her spirits began to rise.

She shut the gate carefully, not wishing to be responsible for the escape of any of the sheep that were her new neighbors. Cautiously she looked in both directions for vehicles driving on the left side of the road.

"Do, please, avoid the Dead Yank syndrome, darling," Christopher had chided her on their first trip to England together. "The civilized world drives on the left."

Resolutely she darted across the narrow road that separated the coastline properties of Barton Hall from its principal holdings. Near a brambly hedge at the entrance to the next field, an iron sign enameled white and embossed with black letters beckoned her to follow another public pathway called, appropriately enough, Hall Walk.

She climbed gingerly over a wooden stile that consisted of four spiraling steps cleverly designed to allow humans access to the field while keeping four-legged animals from getting out on the road. A second metal sign directed her to make a right turn. Within moments she had plunged into a kind of leafy mine shaft, thick with English oak and dense underbrush, where dappled sunlight filtered through the trees that arched overhead. Enclosed in this cool, green, shadowed habitat, she suddenly had the giddy sensation that she was like the White Rabbit in the animated version of Alice in Wonderland, diving into an underground lair.

Then she halted in her tracks.

There I go again! she thought crossly. Everything in my life can't be a potential movie scene!

As usual, she was observing the world through a designer's eye, rather than simply living. It was an occupational hazard, she supposed. On some crucial level, however, she sensed that her habit of seeing daily events as fodder for some future film had a way of bleeding some of the joy and spontaneity out of her everyday life.

I'm in Cornwall! I'm not scouting locations. I'm here. It's beautiful... and that's enough.

On her left, fifty yards down the path, the gnarled roots of an enormous oak had pushed up thick tentacles from the moist ground, forming a large hollow some three feet in diameter. She leaned forward to have a closer look, concluding that an Irish leprechaun or Cornish "pisky" would find this space a suitable abode. Or perhaps even the White Rabbit himself.

Old habits were hard to break, she mused.

Impulsively Blythe shed her indestructible dark-green Barbour jacket-another present from Chris that first trip-and placed it on the ground. Feeling like a mischievous five-year-old hiding from her nanny, she then squeezed inside the vaulted space that was blanketed with cozy moss so intensely green it seemed almost psychedelic. She had just enough room above her head to sit, legs crossed Indian style, like a happy Hobbit in a sheltering forest home.

This is a bit much, she thought, amused by her childish antics as she strafed her fingertips along the velvet-clad roots that formed her woodland cave. In this magical forest an uplifting harmony seemed to prevail-proof of a wholeness in the natural world that seemed to soothe and assuage her wounded soul. As if to confirm this hypothesis, a plump brown rabbit leaped across the path to her right, followed by a bounding gray squirrel that appeared to be not so much its pursuer as its playmate.

Reluctantly Blythe glanced at her watch. Twenty minutes past four. She pulled herself to her feet and dusted off her jacket. A gentle coolness enveloped her as her new walking shoes trod along the tufted emerald path that led through this enchanted wooded world of bright ferns, twisting vines, and ivy-cloaked tree trunks.

A thousand shades of green.

The phrase rang in her head, and the incredible beauty of her surroundings lifted her spirits another notch. As she slowly inhaled the soft Cornish afternoon air, the thought came to her that time spent here-with her feet planted in the soil of her probable forebears, her lungs filled with gentle breezes blowing off the sea-might purify the wells of bitterness and remorse she now realized ran deep.

As she peered ahead, her euphoria swiftly began to evaporate. "It's always something, isn't it?" she exclaimed aloud. The leafy tunnel, its shadows warmed every few feet by shafts of sage-green light, angled sharply upward. As far as Blythe could determine, there appeared to be no way to avoid climbing the steep, challenging hill that stood between her and her destination, Barton Hall.

Meet the Author

Ciji Ware has been an Emmy-award winning television producer, reporter, writer, and radio host. A Harvard graduate, she has written numerous historical and romance novels as well as non-fiction. When she's not writing, Ciji is a Scottish history and dancing aficionado. She lives with her husband in San Francisco.

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Cottage by the Sea 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 145 reviews.
AuthorKellyMoran More than 1 year ago
Author Ciji Ware has been an Emmy-winning television producer, reporter, writer, and radio host. Also a Harvard graduate, she has written several fiction and non-fiction books. She enjoys Scottish history and is a dancing enthusiast. Other titles include: Island of the Swans, Wicked Company, Midnight on Julia Street, A Light on the Veranda, and A Race to Splendor. She resides in San Francisco, California with her husband. After a brutal and highly publicized divorce, Blythe Barton Stowe thinks the remote cottage on the Cornwall coast is just what she needs to get over the humiliation, shock, and pain of her husband's affair with her sister, not to mention the press in Hollywood hounding her. But once in Cornwall, Blythe seems to find a strange connection to her long ago ancestors, and appears to be reliving a centuries-old tragedy. It also looks as if the handsome owner of the manor house on the hill is entwined in her destiny. Blythe finds herself not only determined to help Lucas Trevelyan Teague save his ancestral home, but to uncover the mysteries of their past. Lucas has been shrouded in painful loss as well, and begins to see Blythe as a lifeline from his bleak existence. Is their unbridled passion and new love enough to conquer the past tragedies, and is it enough to transcend the complexities of time and place? I cannot throw enough positive adjectives at this book to give it justice. And I cannot even begin to fathom how much research it must have taken to write such a stellar work of fiction, crossing language and lifestyle barriers between the States and England, not to mention landscape, environment, gardening, psychology, history and supernatural research. Also to notably mention the varying array of secondary characters which brilliantly added to the story immensely: Chloe, Richard, Valerie, and Mr. and Mrs. Quiller, plus the ghosts of the past: Kris, Ennis, Blythe, and Garret. This is a book for everyone. From supernatural and history buffs to romance lovers and garden experts, this book will capture you beginning to end. Written in an eloquent and poetic format, this powerful story relays a harrowing tale of overcoming pain and loss to righting the wrongs in history. Often bringing the reader to a varying degree of emotions, one will find themselves, laughing, weeping, and sighing. The setting was downright astounding and never will you root for a hero and heroine so emphatically. The perfect book to read while sitting by the fire with a box of tissues and a cup of tea. Kelly Moran, Author and Reviewer
LadyHester More than 1 year ago
A solid read! Some parts were silly and far fetched in regards to DNA and time travel, but otherwise worth reading. I loved the main character and her story held my interest. A good love story with a twist in the past!
Dmesa More than 1 year ago
I found the story to be interesting and engaging. However it was very similar to The Winter Sea, both in location and in general plot.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Started out good but once they began having sex--over and over and over again--it became quite predictable and mundane. (Yawn...)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a great read. Finished in two days! Could not put it down. Loved the characters and the unexpected turn of events.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
First Ciji Ware book I've read and I loved it. The story is much greater than the title would lead you to expect. Well-defined, believable characters; lovely setting; surprising and interesting historical links with mysteries to be solved. Seemed a bit long about 80% of the way through, but worth the time to get to the conclusion. Planning to read Ware's Race to Splendor soon -- hope it's as good.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Well written. Liked so many of the characters and their individual stories. This story is much more then a romance. It is about relationships between families and reads nicely.
kmarie8 More than 1 year ago
I did not enjoy this book. I thought the character interactions were kind of predictable, laughable and unbelievable. The characters continually said stereotypical phrases. The ending was nice, but too predictable...
trishamil More than 1 year ago
Really not my type of book. I felt the writing style was very bad. Way too many adjectives, almost using them as fillers. For me that was distracting. Sorry
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I started out writing a long scathing rant because I was disappointed with the book and felt like I wasted my money. I've read enough books that I know the style of writing I like and don't like and I simply didn't like this one.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Really disappointing! Could have been written by Susanna Kearsley. All the same themes and background. even the characters appear to be Susanna's.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
cindykor1957 More than 1 year ago
Beautiful romantic story, both in the past and the present!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
bongie More than 1 year ago
I just loved this book, couldn't put it down. I don't think my book club would like it but such a good read and well written. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I truly enjoyed this story, that while had an interesting romance, also delved into the depths of family relationships. I rather liked her writing style, and i didn't find her use of adjectives the least offensive. Her main character's inner voice of her Grandmother added quite colorful insight into the mind of Blythe. Most times many heroines in this genre annoy me, but i really liked Blythe and her story. The romance was well done, written so that even my mother would read it without blushing. All around, enjoyable and i finished the book within a day or two, since I couldn't wait to see what happened to tie everyone together.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Enjoyable, if a little unbelievable for a "time travel" story that I usually like.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago