Daria Marshall is a gypsy. She's never stayed in one place very long even as a child. The longest she had ever lived anywhere was the 4 years she went to college. Daria, besides moving frequently, has something else in common with gypsies. She is a psychic. She sees dead people but wishes she didn't. They always seem to want to communicate and talking to dead people is not an exact science. During a visit to her sister in New York, Daria sees an old man with sad eyes who keeps popping up. She's not exactly sure whom he is or what he wants but she wishes he would go away.
Ralph Chickalini is the youngest of a large Italian family. His mother died at his birth so his older siblings and father raised him. Recently, his father passed away and now the family home needs to be sold. Ralph dislikes change and isn't coping with these changes well at all. At a New Year's Eve dance, his fianc‚e dumps him, which for some reason gives him a sense of relief. When he meets Daria on the same evening, something seems to click and feel right. But isn't it a bit soon? And what happens when he finds out that Daria never stays anywhere very long and doesn't believe she's cut out for marriage?
Daria and Ralph are very well defined characters. They recognize their problems and got about working on them. Daria really doesn't know how to put down roots but the restlessness that she's always felt doesn't seem as strong. Her sister gets her to agree to stay with her for a year and teaches her how to live in one place. Ralph knows he doesn't do change well. He also knows that he has no choice. Though his siblings want to help, they don't know how except to parent him. How does Ralph expect to be able to face the future when everyone is still living in the past?
I liked that Daria and Ralph didn't use each other to change the way they see things. Instead, they realized the solutions separately and then came back together to see if they could make a working relationship. That is not to say that their siblings weren't there for them but that they had to grow and change as individuals before they could define themselves as a couple. It also wasn't a quick fix. It was over a year before Ralph came back into Daria's life.
Ralph laughed at Daria's psychic ability. He didn't believe that Daria could see dead people or see things other didn't. Yet, this ability was part of Daria and if Ralph can't accept it then, he can't accept Daria. Oh, and who is this dead guy with the sad eyes that keeps hanging around anyway?
Change comes to us all and it's the way we deal with the change that matters in the long run.
Ralphie Chickalini is on the verge of living happily ever after with the perfect woman. His fiance Francesca Maria Buccigrossi of Astoria Boulevard is a curvaceous, fun-loving brunette. His late father, whose recent death the family is still mourning, adored Francesca's homemade pesto sauce and declared her a "keeper," his brothers think she's a hoot, his sisters adore her, and his nephews and niece already call her "aunt." But as the wedding date approaches, Ralphie begins to question his love.
When Ralphie bumps into two psychic sisters at a New Year's Eve party, his life will be thrown in an unexpected direction. Daria and Tammy might not look alike, but they do have more than just a maternal bloodline in common. They both have a psychic gift. Tammy or "Madame Tamare" is a storefront psychic who predicted the marriage between Ralphie's brother Dominic's marriage and an unlikely bride. Now, Daria is channeling a spirit with a message for Ralphie: his father has returned to guide him to true love. But Daria has her own life to live, and she plans to move back to Arizona, messages from another world aside. Despite contrary inclinations, Daria and Ralphie will soon realize that their paths are destined to collide.
"Wendy Markham" is a psedonym for New York Times bestselling author Wendy Corsi Staub, who has several awards, including RWA's "Rita," and published more than sixty novels under her own name and various pseudonyms. A happily married mother of two, she lives in an old house in a picturesque New York City suburb.