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Reviewed by Leslie Bentz for Readers' Favorite
Reading Poplar Place by Ellen Butler was a perfect way to spend an evening! Cara Baker has left her painful past for a new start in the small town of Denton, South Carolina. As she works to recreate her new life, she focuses on a new job and a new home. It seems like fate is working in her favor by bringing her to a Victorian house with the most beautiful garden. The bonus is the recluse who is renting the third floor of the house. Cara’s luck seems to be holding; the house is perfect, the garden is blissful and the tenant on the third floor is not only gorgeous but interested in her. After some flirty notes, Cara gets to meet her tenant face to face and discovers she is not the only person trying to leave things in the past in the hopes of starting a new life.
Ellen Butler has created a great romantic story! Poplar Place was a wonderful mix of elements; a little mystery with a little romance and the perfect length to finish quickly. Everyone can relate to parts of Cara’s life - past stress and work regrets that we would all like to leave behind, or the desire to just walk away and start over somewhere new. The hunky tenant who is protective, caring (and rich) is the dream man most of us can fantasize about fate bringing into our lives. The paranormal twist in this story is unusual and that makes it a bit more interesting than if it was a commonly used paranormal ability. The only flaw, and it’s not much of one, is the predictable flow of the romantic storyline, but the twists provided by Cara’s past easily make up for that. Poplar Place provides a great romantic escape from our everyday lives, even if it’s just a visit.