Summary from the publisher:
Sarah Jennings wants nothing more than a quiet life—alone.
Raised by an eccentric mother, their life on the road only taught her how to run away from hard times. But when she finds herself in an abusive relationship, this lesson serves her well.
Now, back in her hometown, she’s found a place she loves. She’s a first grade teacher, and with few friends and less family around, she has what she wants, a quiet life under the radar where she can be free of her past and live quietly. Finally comfortable in her own skin, she’s settled, and less fearful than she’s ever been in her life.
But it only takes one night and one act of violence for everything to change. Injured and afraid, Sarah wants to run again, but Mark Summors refuses to let her go.
Just when Sarah thinks she can have Mark and the life he promises, her past comes back to haunt her.
Mark Summors was born and raised in Santa Rosa. He married his high school sweetheart and never questioned his life, until he found his wife with another man.
Now divorced, he wants something more. He’s passionate about his job, he wants to protect people, and he devotes his life to it.
This time he’s protecting more than just another client, he’s protecting his future; at least, Sarah Jennings will be his future, once he convinces her she loves him.
I really wanted to like this book. It had a strong beginning with a likeable hero and heroine and a less common plotline than a lot of romances. I thought the first half of the book was well written and I was impressed that it was by a debut author. Unfortunately, I was tired of it by the time I was half way through. I even looked on Amazon to see how long the book was in print – 368 pages. I would have liked it better if it had been condensed to about 200 pages.
After all, I knew how it was going to end well before that. There was one minor plot twist I did not see coming, but beyond that it was just slogging through to get to the end. I even think the author was tired of it because the writing in the second half was not nearly as good as the beginning.
So, what’s the book about?
Sarah escaped from an abusive relationship eight years before. She has created a new life for herself under a new name and is finally beginning to feel safe. So, of course, she is targeted by a rapist. She manages to fight him off and literally runs into the hero of the story – Mark.
Mark, an ex-cop who now owns a security firm, immediately takes her under his protection whether she wants to be or not. Sarah has fought hard to be in control of her own life and does not want anyone to have any say in what she does.
Okay, although I thought Mark was a really nice guy, I think his take charge attitude was over the top. He had never met Sarah before, but he is sleeping on her couch to protect her from the day of the attack.
Sarah, who has a history of abuse by men, almost immediately trusts him. Her only issue with Mark is his take control attitude and she’s an absolute bitch about that. I also thought her “I can take care of myself” attitude was unbelievable considering how much physical damage she has suffered.
Their relationship swings from “hold me, I love you” to “I have to escape . . . don’t leave me, fine, go ahead and leave” in the space of a few pages. And it doesn’t happen just once. Sarah has a history of running from her problems and Mark suffers through the hurt . . . over and over again.
Remember I said the book went on for too long.
Finally, I felt there were various characters who were only introduced so they would be available for a sequel. The book is listed as first in a series and the author has a lot of people from which to choose.
Need I say, I won’t be reading any sequels?
THIS REVIEW WAS ORIGINALLY POSTED ON SEDUCTIVE MUSINGS.