This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life in Books.
I had a great time with this book. I read quite a few books written by Nora Roberts years ago but had not picked up any in recent years. I am now questioning my decision-making skills because I have clearly been missing out. This was a book that started with a bang and was nearly impossible to put down. I honestly enjoyed the experience of reading this book.
The book opens in Zane's childhood. He is a teenager that shows a lot of promise in baseball. He hopes to use his skill in the sport to escape his home life. Things are not as perfect at home as they might appear to be to others in their little town. His mother has served as the school's PTA president and his father is the chief surgeon at the area hospital. Zane, his sister, Britt, and their parents live in the largest home in town and have a very large lifestyle. Unfortunately, the reality of their family includes child abuse and domestic violence.
I was completely captivated by this book at the start. The descriptions of everything Zane and Britt had to endure in their home were so vivid that they felt real to me. I felt the pain right along with this group of characters and prayed that things would work out for them. The book then jumps in time and it was nice to see Zane and Britt as adults. Well adjusted adults with new problems to face.
Darby is ready for a new start. She is a skilled gardener and landscaper and wants to start up a new business in town. Her first client happens to be Zane's aunt. Darby forms bonds with the people in town very quickly and is soon an important member of the community. When she starts working on Zane's house, things heat up quickly.
I really liked the characters in this book. Zane and Darby have both overcome terrible events from their past. They seem to fit together almost perfectly and have great chemistry. I liked how honest these two were with each other and how they seemed to know when to give the other some space. Zane is part of a huge family and I really enjoyed seeing those characters both in the early scenes during his teen years and the section that took place in his adulthood.
This book was exciting. Maybe a bit too much in a way. I really did enjoy the story but I felt like some of the things that happened were just too unlikely. I guess everything in the book could be possible but it felt like more was going on than was necessary. It is a work of fiction so I just ran with it but I couldn't help but think about how remarkable it would be to have all of these things happen in such a short time frame.
I would highly recommend this book to others. This book does deal with both domestic violence and child abuse so it might be a difficult story for some readers. I thought that the situations in the book were vividly told and handled very well. I definitely plan to read more from Nora Roberts!
I received a review copy of this book from St. Martin's Press.