As a high-profile New York auctioneer, transplanted Texan Amy Dickerson knows this well. She sees it reflected both in the items she tempts her clients with and in her closest relationships. Amy has never allowed herself to be vulnerable to love, her sister's marriage is on the rocks, and her entire family struggles with the memory of her philandering father, who isolated his wife and carefully parceled out his emotions with his daughters. Amy's independence is tested by a gentle and sophisticated suitor who happens to be her new boss; he may or may not be able to break through her barriers.
Butler is very much in romance-novel territory here, but he transcends the formula with his usual aptitude for finding exactly the right words to make the familiar patterns of love and desire seem fresh again. An excellent introduction to readers unfamiliar with Butler's work; highly recommended.