Courtesy of CK2S Kwips and Kritiques
Elle Beaumont has been in love with Noah Garrett for as long as she can remember, way back to her childhood even. She was a spitfire of a girl, always getting into trouble, and Noah was always coming to her rescue. There was a connection between them, one that no one could explain, least of all themselves. When he left Pilot Island, NC ten years ago, young Elle's heart had been broken, and her love for Noah died with it.
Noah was always being hounded bythe young girl Elle had been, so much so, it came to annoy him after a while, but he tolerated it nonetheless. When Elle had the misfortune of finding out about a dark Garrett family secret, she tried to hide it from him. Unfortunately, she was unsuccessful, and when Noah found out the truth, he fled the Island, swearing never to return to his home and family, and he flung Elle's feeling aside as he made his escape.
But now Noah is back, ten years later, a hard, cold man, dedicated to his life as a scientist, and determined to avoid Elle. When he sees her for the first time, he is taken aback. The young tomboy had grown into a beautiful young woman, whose heart has grown numb to the love she once held for him. Or so she tries to tell herself... The young love she held for Noah has now changed, becoming the love of a woman for the man she will dedicate her life to. She is determined to deny it though, afraid of having her heart broken once again. Noah is startled to find he also has feelings for Elle, resolute in his conviction to ignore it, never forgetting her role in his discovery of his family skeleton. He finds he can't though and begins to realize maybe this love between them can grow into something even more special then it was before.
This was a delightful read. Elle and Noah are so insistent that any sort of feelings between them cannot be. How is it that everyone else in town can see the attraction but them? The emotion rolling from them in waves is palpable, all mixed up with the hurt of many years before. Ms. Sumner depicts the confusion between them beautifully. Noah's relationship with his brothers is well drawn as well, and the grief all three of them felt over the revelation of a decade ago and the enduring impact it had on their lives. The agony each feels over their part of what drove Noah away is blended with the bond they have as brothers, which goes beyond blood. All of this is rendered in such a way that the reader can't help but feel their pain.
The descriptions of Pilot Island and the life there of the townspeople are rich in detail and historical fact. In spite of the writing skill apparent throughout the book, some parts tend to drag on, being a bit too mired in detail, resulting in a slower paced story. Still, this was a worthy read and Ms. Sumner has written a story rich in historical detail and the emotions of her characters. It is well worth the time taken to finish the book.