Amanda Harte

Stargazer, The Fourth Hidden Falls Romance


The assignment of restoring the Hidden Falls carousel couldn’t have come at a better time for Julie Unger. A change of scenery, a chance to leave heartbreak behind and the opportunity to spend a year doing what she loves most – working with carousel horses – are just what she needs. What she hasn’t counted on is the presence of handsome architect Rick Swanson and his son, a boy who raises memories of the worst time in Julie’s life.

Rick Swanson is back in Hidden Falls, helping his friend John Moreland renovate the old cotton mill. It’s work Rick enjoys or at least work he would enjoy if he could concentrate on it. Instead, all he can think about is his son Josh. Though it’s been a year since Josh found his mother dead, a model of a stargazer carousel horse clutched in her hand, the trauma has not faded, and Josh refuses to speak. It’ll take a miracle to cure him. Or maybe all Josh needs is more time with Julie and her painted ponies.

Wounded by her divorce, Julie is sure she’ll never remarry. For his part, Rick has no intention of falling in love again, especially not with a woman who seems gun-shy around children. But sometimes love grows in the most unlikely of spots.

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In the latest addition to her Hidden Falls series, Harte skillfully uses the healing power of love to create a richly emotional and sweetly charming contemporary romance.

John Charles for Booklist

Stargazer takes readers back to the small town of Hidden Falls for a heartwarming story of family and romance. In this fourth Hidden Falls romance, Julie Unger comes to town on an assignment. She's been given the chance of a lifetime to restore an original Ludlow merry-go-round. She's hoping to restore the carousel and her broken life all at the same time.

The description of the restoration process included in this book is very satisfying. Those who like unexpected surprises, such as learning about the different types of carousel animals or learning to identify the lead horse, will enjoy Julie’s journey as she works on restoring the animals.

If you haven’t read any of the Hidden Falls romances, go ahead and start with this one. You’ll find yourself looking for Painted Ponies, the first story, and working your way through Harte’s world of carousels and romance.

Arlene Guillen for Colorado Romance Writers

Stargazer is the latest installment in author Amanda Harte’s Hidden Falls Romances, a series that is connected simply by the common setting in Hidden Falls and characters that are infected with “carousel fever.” In Stargazer, the heroine, Julie, is the person enamored with carousels and so has made a career of restoring them.

Readers new to the series need not have read any of the previous books to become involved in Julie’s emotional tale. It’s a stand-alone story of three wounded souls in need of healing. The main players, Julie, Rick, and Josh, have suffered very tragic losses, and their pain and suffering give them a very realistic quality that readers can relate to and/or sympathize with, especially the totally amicable five-year-old Josh.

There’s more to Stargazer, however, than just a huge tug on the heartstrings. Julie and Rick share a romance that is charming for its sweetness, and the detailed information about carousels that is woven into the story is fascinating.

Stargazer delivers a feel good romance that I certainly recommend.

Sandra Brill for Romance Reviews Today

Avalon Books April 2008
ISBN 978-0-8034-9882-2

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