This inquiry comes from Tamara, who remembers a lot of the details, but hasn’t been able to locate this book.
This was a contemporary romance, I don’t think it was part of a series or imprint, and I suspect it was something like 300+ pages. I found it on a random shelf in an army base on the Israeli-Egyptian border among a pile of truly awful bodice rippers (also Kazuo Ishiguro’s Remains of the Day. Eclectic, I suppose,) and I can’t for the life of me find it again. Help!
The heroine is a sort of down on her luck itinerant musician who plays clubs and the like, when they can get the work, with her younger, and generally flightier and more emotional singer sister. Their family history is gone into at some extent, and the only thing I can remember is that they are a quarter Japanese. The sister’s name was something like Eva or Ella, and the heroines…something with a V? Maybe?
Oh, and the heroine is a virgin, at 28, (this is rectified over the course of the novel,) while the sister has either a pregnancy scare or a miscarriage at some point not long before the beginning of the story.
They wind up – er, somehow – as houseguests of a small, eccentric family-run guesthouse or farm somewhere way up in the Appalachians, where they learn to leave behind the hectic modern world and let go of their suspicions and learn to love and so on. (I’m mocking a bit, but it wasn’t bad at all.)
The farm/inn is in danger of being sold off to developers who want to build a huge and not at all eccentric super-resort of some kind. The family are of Scottish origin, have been there since the 1700’s, and the convulted family history is full of love stories with unlikely lost people, and currently have their own internal issues with people who are mad at eachother and a recently dead patriarch (or possibly older brother?)
The hero is an ex-CIA (Or FBI. Or NSA. Something in Washington) agent, who was home for a holiday and helping run the log mill, and arguing with his father (or possibly older brother) who was then tragically killed in an accident (with the log mill. Its quite graphic.) and the hero gets his hand badly mangled, fingers amputated, that sort of thing, (Theres a nice scene where the heroine tells him to stop whining about the hand and forces him to play piano with her) which of course means he has to leave the CIA (or FBI or…) and now he’s home, all guilty, self loathing, directionless and bitter. His name is…something short with a G. Guy or Gus, possibly.
The only other things I remember is that the sister ends up paired off as well, and theres a thing where at some point they both cut off/grow out their blonde dye/extensions, for their natural black hair. I read it in 2007, and at a very rough guess, it seemed like it would be a stretch for it to be set earlier than the late 80’s. (The heroine wears her hair in cornrows and has piercings, she’s embarrassed about being a virgin, and, er, other stuff I don’t remember that made it seem quite contemporary.)
Any clue at all would be extremely appreciated.