Denise Holden’s life is a fragile mix of luck and hard work. A single mom of a speech-delayed son, Denise makes ends meet by moving to the small town of Edenton, North Carolina, and working the late shift as a waitress. When Denise crashes her car and her son Kyle flees the accident and disappears into the storm, her only stroke of luck is the quick arrival of Taylor McAden, a volunteer fireman. Taylor’s got a knack for fixing people, and he can’t help wanting to be involved with Denise beyond the initial rescue of Kyle.
As Taylor helps Denise recover from the accident and get to know the town, they discover a sweet bond and a magical chemistry that pulls them closer and closer. Though Taylor fits perfectly into Denise’s family, he’s unable to open his heart to being loved by her. As Taylor struggles to understand his conflicting desires, Denise questions the wisdom of gambling with Kyle’s and her own emotions.
Author Nicholas Sparks has found a loyal audience for his stories about the internal battles that accompany the arrival of love. His heroes may be truck-driving manly men and his heroines emotional swamis, but it’s easy to overlook the traditional roles when the complexities of human relationships are so beautifully described. Sparks has found his forte, and this novel is sure to be as popular as his earlier works. –Nancy R.E. O’Brien –This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
Secret traumas again haunt Sparks’s characters, in the author’s fourth novel (after The Notebook; Message in a Bottle; A Walk to Remember). Denise Holden, the 29-year-old heroine, is destitute and forced to live in her mother’s old house in Edenton, N.C. She’s also the single mother of a handicapped child, Kyle, a four-year-old with “auditory processing problems” that render him unable to express himself or to fully understand others. Though she doesn’t suspect it, Denise is on a literal collision course with true love. After she smashes her car into a tree and wakes up to discover Kyle missing, she finds deliverance in the form of Taylor McAden, dashing firefighter and compulsive risk taker, who rescues Kyle, too. Since Taylor enjoys an instant, unprecedented rapport with Kyle, there is little standing in the way of burgeoning romance. Trouble comes, however, when Denise learns of Taylor’s checkered romantic past. Taylor’s inability to commit, it seems, is somehow tied to his compulsive heroism, of which numerous histrionic examples are described. Denise’s quest to find the source of Taylor’s emotional distance takes up the final third of the book. The story here is mostly a pretext for the emotional assault that Sparks delivers, but when he manages to link affect to action, the result is cunningly crafted melodrama. These occasions are rare, though; more often Sparks gets bogged down in interminable interior monologue. Because these characters are preordained lovers, their feelings prescribed by fiction conventions, their psychology amounts to little more than a profusion of banality. Yet Sparks’s narrative acquires immediacy when his characters’ exaggerated emotions compel immoderate actions, and his readers will surely delight at these moments of heightened expressiveness. 1 million first printing; 24-city author tour. (Sept.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. –This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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