This is the first book that Susan Mallery wrote. It was a wonderful , heartwarming story. It is now out of print.
Because I'd delayed writing a review for 6-7 weeks, I checked what others had to say about this particular story. I only remembered that it was a very ordinary story with too much angst going on in the two leads' minds. After reading all the 5 star reviews, I doubted I'd read the same book. It had made so little impression that I couldn't remember this novel's substance enough to give a review of my own. I reread the book to see if I'd missed some of the star quality in one of Susan Mallery's early published works.
This is a story about Justin Kincaid; he'd left his hometown as the resident bad-boy and came back as the sheriff of the small town. When his fiancee Megan Bartlett decided not to leave town with him seven years ago, Justin was crushed. During the intervening years, Justin did some smart things. He was guided by a man who became his friend and mentor. Williams convinced Justin that he needed to go back and look at things from an adult's perspective so he could settle the ghosts of his past.
Justin was surprised to see that Megan was still in town and unmarried. They clashed immediately and often. Years before, Megan had asked Justin not to tell of their engagement; he saw that as proof that she was ashamed of him. However, it wasn't really 'all about him.' Both had had childhoods from hell; but Justin thought her upbringing was idyllic because her family was better at hiding their secrets. Justin may have been as 'handsome as sin' but he held out forgiveness until the last pages. I didn't find him to be a particularly admirable character.
There's a mystery included in this story and the resolution was quite satisfactory. However, the story could have been shortened by 20+ pages because the leads were involved in too much interior dialogue -- saying the same things repeatedly.
I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE anything by Susan Mallery! So needless to say this was really good too!!!!
Though years had passed since he'd left town, Justin Kincaid still had something to prove. Especially to Megan Bartlett, the only woman he'd ever loved-and the one woman he could never forgive.
This couldn't be happening, Megan told herself. Justin was back. Justin Kincaid had returned. But the boy he'd been was gone, replaced by a man who'd brought Megan a child to cherish. And to confront.
Very well written touching story.