War threatens newfound happiness for a matched-up magical couple in this Southern Gothic, new adult fantasy novella prequel to Blackbird Summer.
When Rex Somersby’s family matchmaker sets him up with the famous Evelyn Cadeau, he can’t believe his luck. Evelyn is the woman with the perfect Gift—the woman every man wants—while Rex’s own magical ability leaves much to be desired. He travels from Missouri to meet his dream girl in her rural Mississippi home, where Evelyn makes it clear that winning her heart won’t be an easy task. Good thing farm-boy Rex has never been afraid of a little hard work.
Evelyn Cadeau is used to getting her way. As the woman with the most powerful Gift, she knows she can have her pick of anyone she wants. And who she wants is slick, handsome, and off-limits Guy McCallister—not gawky, buttoned-up Rex Somersby. Yet, after an arranged date with Rex takes a dramatic turn, leading to a bottle of wine and sneaking to the creek for a late night skinny dip, she realizes there may be more to by-the-rules Rex than meets the eye.
Just as the young couple start to think their family’s tradition of matchmaking isn’t quite so backward, Rex is drafted to Vietnam. With war threatening to tear them apart, will love be able to save them? Or will it take a bit of magic?
“Slow-burning and leisurely, this romance captures the charm of small towns and the tension of the late 1960s, allowing its leads to come together at their own pace…. A tender story about the healing power of love.”—Publishers Weekly
In this prequel to 2016's Blackbird Summer, set against the backdrop of the Vietnam War, romance blooms between two members of the magically gifted community that's spread around the United States. Eighteen-year-old Evelyn Cadeau is a free spirit with the gift of vigor, essential to the success of her family's Mississippi farm and her father's health. Rex Somersby, a clean-cut, polite young man from Missouri, has the gift of perfect memory. When Evelyn and Rex are matched by their families, they never expect to find a quiet chemistry or a genuine connection. By the time Rex is drafted into the army and sent off to Vietnam, they can't imagine life apart. However, when Rex comes home, he is deeply damaged by memories he can't escape, and the two must rebuild their relationship by overcoming these traumas. Slow-burning and leisurely, this romance captures the charm of small towns and the tension of the late 1960s, allowing its leads to come together at their own pace. Shotwell depicts Rex's PTSD with subtlety and compassion, resulting in a tender story about the healing power of love.