The last of an ancient Cornish clan, Carla Tregellas has inherited her historic ancestral home: a massive mansion looming high up on the jagged cliffs of Cornwall. From the moment Carla takes possession of the grand manor she feels right at home, warmly welcomed by everyone—except the strange and secretive housekeeper, Mrs. Pendennis, who warns the new owner of the tragic, inevitable fate that will surely befall her if she does not depart at once. But Carla cannot leave, for the unseen bonds of a dark family curse are beginning to tighten… and a demon lover waits.
I’m not sure what it is, but sometimes I just crave something by Barbara Michaels.
Like most of the books by Michaels that I have read, Wait for What Will Come features a plucky heroine and an old house. Carla Tregellas, a math teacher from Boston, is surprised to inherit a somewhat decrepit mansion from a distant relation in Cornwall. Her initial impulse is to sell the place, but once she sees a photo, she’s smitten and decides to at least pay a visit before putting it up on the market.
Upon practically the moment of her arrival, Carla is acquainted with the family legend, which says that every 200 years a young woman of the family is claimed by some sort of sea demon. The last occurrence was exactly 200 years ago and, wouldn’t you know it, Carla looks a great deal like her ancestor who went missing at that time. Carla’s an unimaginative and practical sort and discounts the myth, but strange things start happening—seaweed in her room, a distorted portrait—that soon have her on edge.
A bevy of attractive men happens to be handy, and most of them have the hots for Carla (the exception being the vicar, who probably has the vicarly equivalent). The fellows help her look into the origins of the legend and execute timely rescues, but most seem to want to get her out of town in a hurry. After the characters spend most of the book sightseeing, socializing, and/or engaging in lackadaisical research, all of a sudden they’re confessing to dastardly deeds and revealing unconvincing romantic inclinations, and it all seems to come out of nowhere.
In retrospect, the plot’s pretty thin, but I liked the setting and the characters enough that I enjoyed their interactions, until Michaels realized she’d better wrap things up and everything went a little crazy. Still, the final resolution is satisfying enough and I’m happy that a cat got to be a hero, in its way. This isn’t the best by Michaels that I’ve read, but it was sufficiently diverting.