Well-known for her historical romances, author Susan Wiggs once again delves into the contemporary venue in this moving read complete with healing hearts and and simmering mystery.
Widow Sandra Winslow moves into the old beach home along the coast of Rhode Island. The home, given to her by her grandfather, is all that she has left after the death of her husband, Victor Winslow. By all accounts, Victor was the consummate politician and perfect husband and son. Only Sandra knows what happened on the bridge that fateful February when the car she was driving careened off the bridge and landed in the frigid water below. Though Victor's body was never found, Sandra survived and was exonerated at the inquest. But the townspeople and media feel otherwise as the author credibly exhibits their disdain, making it believable and not overdone.
Feeling the pressure to start anew, Sandra enlist the aid of "handyman" Mike Malloy to restore the beach home so that she can sell it and move on. But she wasn't bargaining on her attraction to Mike, at first in an elemental way she hasn't felt before. There is more than just physical desire, though, as Ms. Wiggs develops their attraction in such a way that they reinforce the empty spaces in each other's lives.
Their emotional baggage seems almost insurmountable, with Mike's difficulties as a single divorced dad, and Sandra's conflicting feelings concerning her apparently happy marriage. In a compelling parallel to Sandra's own parents, who are considering divorce, Mike and Sandra must learn to work through each others differences to achieve a relationship worth saving. Complex characters, a hunky hero, and a constant undercurrent of mystery, lend creativity to this novel that is so much more than a formulaic romance. A must read!