From the back cover:
Deputy Sheriff Sam Canfield is a man shouldering too many burdens. He defied his demanding father to become a cop and marry the woman he loved, never for an instant regretting his choice. Then his wife's tragic death left him a shell of the man he once had been.
Schoolteacher Mary McKinney knows about the pain and regret that haunt Same. The death of her son seven years ago destroyed her marriage and left her with her own sorrow and guilt. Now she wants--she needs--to free Sam from his demons...to help heal the rift between father and son. But in doing so, she'll put her own vulnerable heart in jeopardy.
It's July in Whisper Creek. And as a blazing wildfire sears the land, the heat of emotion rages through its residents. But when the flames die down, will there be a place left to rebuild lost hopes and dreams?
And my review:
This was a pretty good read, but quite easy to put down. I finished without a lot of trouble, but it wasn't a story that tempted me to keep reading past my bedtime.
I felt that the author was trying to deal with too much in too little space. Because of that, the romance suffered a bit. More time was given to developing other story threads, like the hero's hang-ups over his father, or his father learning to communicate and be more flexible. At times, so much attention was given to the forest fire that I felt this was more a story about fighting forest fires than it was a romance. While I'm glad the author did her research for the backdrop to her story, I often felt that it stole centre stage. I like the books I read to be well researched, but I read romance primarily for the relationship between hero and heroine. The characters were well developed, but I just didn't get to see enough interaction between the hero and heroine to satisfy my desire to watch a relationship grow and flower into true love. There were some sparks, but not as much chemistry as I'd like to see between the leads.
One other thought--the hero's rigid father is a preacher. So God gets discussed a lot in this story. While I have no problem with God being mentioned (I'm an actively practicing Roman Catholic), it felt out of place for a mainstream romance novel. A couple of times I found myself checking to see if this was an inspirational romance, because it often read like one. It wasn't preachy, but I don't think that discussing different ways to view God really belongs in this kind of book. Some readers might find this off-putting.
Not a keeper, but okay for a one-time read.