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Devastated by the death of his father and the loss of his first love Sammy to an unhappy marriage, Luke Carson leaves a promising career in Hollywood to search for a new life in England. His efforts to put the past behind him and find happiness with new friends seems doomed to failure. Then his despair attracts the romantic interest of Dee, an 18-year-old student, who is determined to win his affection at all costs. But Luke cannot forget Sammy, nor leave her to struggle alone as her husband descends into obsessive jealousy and paranoia.
Luke finds himself enmeshed in two love triangles, one reaching back into a nostalgically remembered past, the other threatening to blight his future. When the triangles of love collide, past and present vie for supremacy in his journey of the soul. Can Dee oust Sammy from Lukeâ€™s memory, or will the emotional ties to his first love prove too strong?
From the bus, she had seen Luke walking happily with his arm around a tall, slim, dark-haired girl, a girl as young as she had been when she went out with him; and he had smiled and laughed and looked at that girl tenderly. And she had told herself she was happy for him, glad that he had found someone to replace her, then tried to ignore the intense jealousy which had swept through her for a moment, as she realized that this girl now possessed what she herself had rejected.
She arrived home a little after half-past nine. As she put her key in the lock, a hand on her arm made her turn suddenly, shrinking from the touch.
"Itâ€™s okay, Sam,â€ said a long-forgotten voice. "Itâ€™s me.â€
She stared at him, the memory of Oxford surging back with a rush. "Luke, what on earth are you doing here?â€
"I came to see that you were okay,â€ he said, simply. "Can we go inside?â€
Sammy hesitated for a moment, then concluded that it was impossible to argue with him in the street in the plain view of passers-by, with the possibility that Michael might at any moment look out of the estate agentâ€™s window and see them. She opened the door and hurried him inside. But she made no move to invite him further into the flat, and instead remained standing at bay with her back to the steps that led to the flat, as though guarding the gateway to her life.
Jane Anstey began writing before she left junior school, and had her first story published, aged eleven, in the school magazine. She graduated from Oxford University in 1976 with a degree in Modern History and taught for four years before her first child was born in 1982. Combining work with motherhood proved easier as a freelance and she took up copy-editing and educational writing in 1986. She now lives in Cornwall, England, in a house overlooking the moors.
Beauty For Ashes: This... epic love story with several intriguing sub plots... keeps the reader glued to the end. I thoroughly enjoyed this story of love that will not die and the turmoil of friends who are there for each other despite all that happens to rip them apart. -- Anne Ireland, www.redrosesforauthors.blogspot.com
Book Publisher: Wings e Press
No. of Pages: 410
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