Author: Nora Roberts
Publication: Berkley (April 12, 2016)
Description: “She stood in the deep, dark woods, breath shallow and cold prickling over her skin despite the hot, heavy air. She took a step back, then two, as the urge to run fell over her.”
Naomi Bowes lost her innocence the night she followed her father into the woods. In freeing the girl trapped in the root cellar, Naomi revealed the horrible extent of her father’s crimes and made him infamous. No matter how close she gets to happiness, she can’t outrun the sins of Thomas David Bowes.
Now a successful photographer living under the name Naomi Carson, she has found a place that calls to her, a rambling old house in need of repair, thousands of miles away from everything she’s ever known. Naomi wants to embrace the solitude, but the kindly residents of Sunrise Cove keep forcing her to open up—especially the determined Xander Keaton.
Naomi can feel her defenses failing, and knows that the connection her new life offers is something she’s always secretly craved. But the sins of her father can become an obsession, and, as she’s learned time and again, her past is never more than a nightmare away.
My Thoughts: Eleven-year-old Naomi Bowes followed her father into the woods one late night and walked into a nightmare. Her father had a young woman locked in an underground cellar beside a burnt out cabin. He had raped her and tortured her and would have killed her like he had killed countless others before her if Noami hadn't rescued her and taken her to the sheriff.
That act of courage changed Naomi's life. She and her brother and her mother became almost as notorious as her father. They couldn't escape the media frenzy until her mother's gay brother and his husband swooped in to rescue them. They moved first to Washington, DC, and than later to New York City. Each time Bowes wanted something from prison, the media frenzy kicked in again, and the family moved again. Naomi's mother couldn't deal with the situation and took her own life when Naomi was in high school. Naomi and her brother Mason changed their name to Carson which was their mother's maiden name. But determined reporters kept finding them ... when the tell-all book came out, when the movie was released...
Naomi grew up to become a photographer who traveled almost constantly. She didn't set down any roots or let anyone into her life except her brother and her uncles. But then she arrived in Sunrise Cove on the West Coast and fell in love with an old house that needed major renovation, very reluctantly found herself adopting an abandoned dog, and found a man to love too. Xander Keaton was born and raised in Sunrise Cove, owned his own garage, played in a bar band, and wouldn't let Naomi keep him at a distance.
Only, though Naomi didn't know it, she had attracted a stalker who had followed her to Sunrise Cove and who committed a couple of murders that were eerily like those committed by her father. Her first instinct was to run because that was what she was used to doing. Xander convinced her to make a stand and try to end the problem once and for all.
I loved this story. The relationship between Naomi and Xander was so well written. Neither one of them was looking for love but love had a way of finding them. I loved watching Naomi become part of the Sunrise Cove community and make some good friends. I think that this building of community and connections is a hallmark of Nora Roberts' writing and it is done very well here.
Fans of romantic suspense and Nora's fans won't want to miss this excellent story.
He’d walked up the steps with lilacs in a blue pitcher, set them down unceremoniously. Stolen flowers in an old pitcher, carried in big, callused hands.I got this eARC from Penguin's First to Read program in exchange for an honest review. You can buy your copy here.
And she’d fallen in love.
It couldn’t be that fast. It couldn’t be that simple. It couldn’t be.