What tickled my fancy: Very interesting thematically by itself and as part of the series as a whole.
What ticked me off: I still want to know what happened when Peter was little…
Who might like it: Fans of loving family stories.
I really appreciate what Hill has done with this romance series. In the first book, a couple took in three foster children from an abusive family. The rest of the series is about those children as adults, realistically having emotional repercussions from those experiences.
Zach’s memories of his early life compelled him to become a defense attorney, fighting for young people who’ve reacted badly to abusive environments and gotten into trouble. In them he sees himself as he could have been, if he hadn’t gotten lucky. But Zach is also carrying another huge burden from his past, and it’s sending him on exactly the road he wants so desperately to avoid.
Julie has known Zach since she was seven and he was a kind, protective twelve year old, concerned about how neglected and alone she was. She ran away from home at eighteen; eight years later, they meet by accident. Having created a new life and a fictitious background for herself, Julie is about to marry a man who’ll give her the security she’s always desperately wanted. Knowing her as she really is, Zach threatens her new world, but when she how much pain lies underneath his perfect facade, she can’t help comforting him — and it all comes crashing down for both of them.
This was my favorite of the series so far. Romances in which both main characters are majorly screwed up can be tricky, but though Zach and Julie’s feelings are initially expressed through steamy love scenes, I did believe that there was more to them as a couple. It’s a strongly emotional story; if you’ve read the previous books, you’ll already know how this one ends, but it had me tearing up anyway. I do recommend reading them all, in order, because they have a stronger punch that way.
This is a self-published book, but except for one or two minor errors you’d never know it. I thought that some of the conversations went on too long, and there were some loose ends left, but I’d definitely recommend it.