A Cottage by the Sea

A Cottage by the Sea

by Ciji Ware

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781402222702
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Publication date: 06/01/2010
Pages: 544
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.30(d)

About 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.

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.

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Cottage by the Sea 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 150 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
celticlady53 on LibraryThing 10 months ago
This story by Ciji Ware is an enjoyable read. I was not sure what to expect as I had not read anything by her before. Once I started reading it I was hooked. I enjoyed the characters and I am always up for a little supernatural or reincarnation in a story. There is enough mystery, romance and history to keep the reader enthralled to the end. Blythe is a fan of Daphne du Maurier's novels and renting a cottage on the Cornwall coast, where a lot of Ms.du Maurier's novels take place, is just what she needs to rethink her life and just get away from all the heartache of a divorce. Blythe's original plans were to stay in the cottage for a month or two but ended up there the summer and struck up a business and romantic relationship with Lucas. She also ended up going back in time, via an old family geneology chart,to the late 1700's, learning the history of the previous generations of Barton Hall and the tragedies that befell these people. The past was a story of love, hate,and revenge that paralled her own life.As in any romance, the end is a happily ever after for everyone involved...Love conquers all.
knittingmomof3 on LibraryThing 10 months ago
From My Blog....A Cottage by the Sea by Ciji Ware is an intriguing, enticing, complex and romantic novel that will keep readers up long into the night. Blythe Barton Stowe grew up in Wyoming, married and became famous in California and is facing a humiliating divorce and scandal in Hollywood. Blythe decides it is time to get away from the media circus and heads to Cornwell for some peace and quiet and to research some of her ancestors who are from Cornwall. She manages to rent a cottage on the lands of Barton Hall, owned by Lucas Teague who is trying to keep his estate in the black and his spirits lifted. As expected, a spark ignites between Blythe and Lucas, however in an extraordinarily unlikely manner. I was concerned about the time travel aspect, and yet Ware managed to write the scenes into her novel in a delightful and seamless manner. The scenery both present and past is described expertly well and the reader will have no trouble envisioning the scenes. The characters are realistic and enchanting, while the plot, a deceptively simple romance, turns into a much more complex romance in an intriguing and brilliant way. This is the second novel I have read by Ciji Ware and A Cottage by the Sea did not disappoint me. I would without reservation recommend A Cottage by the Sea to any reader looking for a wonderful romance novel with a twist.
LoriHedgpeth on LibraryThing 10 months ago
A Cottage by the Sea was my first book by Ciji Ware and I am so grateful I had the chance to read this incredible book. It had everything that normally interests me - - a Hollywood background, an English setting, a bit of history and touches of the supernatural. So good was this book, it kept me up until after 3 a.m. to find out what was going to happen. I was entranced from the first page, between author Ciji Ware's enchanting writing and a heroine that I not only really liked but could relate to. I found Blythe to be a spunky character without being pushy or overbearing and while she was also soft, she wasn't a pushover. Her emotions and the impact on her self esteem were raw and cut through every page - - I could feel Blythe's despair in the pit of my stomach, so gripping and understandable was her pain. Lucas Teague was a satisfying and masculine hero, from the first moment he appears as Blythe's new landlord in Cornwall to his mucking through his estate in his Wellies and dented Land Rover to his customary tea taking at 4 p.m. daily. One of my favorite aspects of Lucas was his vulnerability, showing that underneath that stiff British upper lip, he did have his flaws. In fact, several times during the course of the book, I felt strong parallels to Mr. Darcy's interactions with Elizabeth Bennet in Pride and Prejudice, where both parties are so strong willed and determined they can't see what is so obvious to the bystander (like this reader). I found the historical aspects of the novel to be thoroughly enjoyable. They made up only perhaps an eighth of the book overall but they were so rich in detail and so engrossing to have put the whipped cream on top of this slice of literary pie. In fact, the flashback scenes of the original Blythe, Kit, Ennis and Garrett could have made a stunning story all on its own.The cherry on top of this confection would have to be the incredible locale. I have never been to Cornwall (or to Britain, in fact) but Ms. Ware's beautifully descriptive writing gave me the most gorgeous mental images of this lovely coastal area of England. As Blythe described walking from Painter's Cottage to Barton Hall, I could shut my eyes and see the wooded walk, hear the waves behind me and prepare to see the rhodedendrons as tall as trees as Barton Hall came into view. This book only served to whet my appetite to see this amazing country. Cottage by the Sea is one of the best books I have read this year, hands down, and one of my favorite historical fiction pieces overall. This book has romance, it has drama, it has history and it has the supernatural. There is something for every reader to enjoy and savor. I could not recommend this book highly enough and feel that any reader taking a pass on this delightful novel would be missing out on an incredible and worthy experience.
WisteriaLeigh on LibraryThing 10 months ago
A COTTAGE BY THE SEAby Ciji WareSourcebooks Landmark9781402222702June 2010$15.99US/$18.99CAN544 pagesBlythe Barton, desperate and mortified following her highly publicized Hollywood divorce from the flamboyant director Christopher Stowe, flees to England, the land of her ancestors for solitude and rest. Even the millions that become hers in the settlement will not assuage the humiliation she suffered when she discovered the steamy affair between her husband and sister. To add salt to the festering wound, upon leaving court she learns with added embarrassment that the two have wed. Arriving at Barton Hall in Cornwall, she meets the owner, her landlord Lucas Teague. He informs her that her attorney Lisa, has extended her lease by three months. When she calls Lisa she is told that the media is in a frenzy after the announcement that her sister is pregnant and it would be best for her to stay put. Resigned to her fate she begins to build a new life, with hope of erasing her past. She settles into Painter¿s Cottage by the sea surrounded by lush plantings and incredible views of the sea. Lucas, she admits When she meets her landlord and the owner of Barton Hall she notes how attractive and British he is and her curiosity rises, but with reserved caution she maintains her distance. Lucas shares his recent financial troubles with Blythe and she uses her skills as a production designer to generate a business plan that she hopes will make Barton Hall solvent. She falls in love with Lucas, but his inability to share his life with his son disturbs her. Through some anomaly in the Barton genealogy chart, she discovers the linkage between her present and ancestral past life. She has vivid visions that uncover the buried history of her namesake leaving her confused with many unanswered questions. Then an unwelcome surprise visit by her ex-husband infuriates her as she is forced to deal with her psychologically unbalanced sister and a life changing plea from her remorseful ex. With a mystical allure, the story slowly teases the reader as the present, past and future are plaited together. Through the lives of Blythe Barton and her forbears who lived in the 18th century, the history of Barton Hall emerges with a surprising twist. Blythe and Lucas are sensually hot, passionate lovers who were destined for each other. Each character is so compellingly real and touchable the story breathes believability. Once again, Ciji Ware has written an absorbing romance of historical fiction. Cottage by the Sea is a scintillating summer read offering pure enchantment.
Mendoza on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I'm kind of torn in my rating. I thought that as a contemporary romance set in the UK it was excellent. I think it is one of my favorites. Realistically flawed characters yet clearly perfect for eachother.WHat I can't stand about the book is the paranormal reliving a past life crap. And anyone that looks at my profile and clearly see I love all fantasy paranormal fiction. It so did not work for me in this book.
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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.
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cindykor1957 More than 1 year ago
Beautiful romantic story, both in the past and the present!
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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. 
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