This is not an easy book for me to review so I have been putting it off for a while now. My main reason for this procrastination was whether I could review the book without giving much of the story away and I realized that this was not possible. First of all, the story is very brief (210 large print, short paragraphed pages). Secondly, I found the plot repetitive, lacking a real story, and thirdly, the characters were very sketchily developed. I must also add that the dialogues were unimaginative and lack lustre.
Well, let me take this from the top, but inevitably I will have to reveal parts of the plot not referred to on the back cover. However, had I known these facts I would not have ordered the book, as reading romance is, for me, my little escape cove where I immerse myself in the fantasy. Our two heroes in this story have been deeply traumatised. Del Prescot ran away from her extremely wealthy and seemingly privileged home because her stepfather had been sexually abusing her and there are some disturbing descriptions of his methods. I feel I have to warn people about that as I was horrified to read this as I was totally unprepared for it. I have read other literature describing in graphic detail rape or murder scenes but those books belong to a completely different category. Del returns years later as she has to face her past and confront her mother and stepfather. I must admit that the author has done some work here and describes Del's steps to come to grips with her past life in an honest, realistic manner. However, she rushed to finish the book and made everything appear haphazard, without giving time for the characters to develop and become more than "paper" thin.
Blake Mitchell is described as being an angel incarnate, too good and too handsome to be true. He is Del's boyfriend who suddenly loses all traces of his teenage girlfriend when she vanishes without a trace. There was another catch for me here as well,but this is more on the personal level. He suffered from cancer and though in the book he appears to have fully recovered and does not display any signs of weakness, it was hard for me to read, having recently lost two dear friends from the same illness, and helping two more fight it. I almost gave up reading the book, but as I said this is very personal, so take it as such. I simply want to let others know, who like me are in the phase of not being able to handle any stressful reading and who resort to romance to take their mind off, to avoid this book. Of course, there are those who might argue that the book is optimistic as it describes two people dealing with and overcoming what may at first seem like insurmountable obstacles. The choice is yours, as now you know some facts about this unconventional romance novel. Blake is the epitome of patience and understanding, a pillar of strength for our seriously disrupted heroine. But even here I would have preferred more interaction and more intimate confidences. You can't deal with such serious topics in an off hand manner, if you want to write a serious book. But I don't find that these topics mix well with this genre of books as the writers can spend neither the time, nor devote themselves to painstakingly shifting through the serious issues they raise.
As I have already mentioned, the story is sketchy with characters making a "guest" appearance and then disappearing. Del's mother is not fit to live according to the writer's brief description. This woman should have been more adequately analyzed when dealing with such sensitive topics, by delving deeper into the characters of both the victims and the victimizers. She was her mother for goodnss sake! In this case we are briefly shown two fiends (stepfather and mother) who perpetrated a crime that should have had them hanged. There are numerous gaps in the story but if I go on to list them I will probably be accused of giving away far too much. Notwithstanding my personal reservations on the plot, I can say that it is a book which was rushed and is neither well written, nor well developed.