THE ROAD LESS TRAVELED
For all their obvious differences, medical resident Kate Spencer and recently freed-though-wrongly imprisoned Hunter Bradshaw had one big thing in common: both of them had holes in their past they were sure could never be fixed. So when Kate, nee Charlotte McKinnon, announced her plan to take a road trip to try to find clues to her real identity, ex-cop Hunter offered to go along for the ride. For protection, of course...
But there's where their trip took an unexpected turn. For, Kate, she'd loved Hunter from afar for years, found no answers, only more questions. And Hunter, with Kate by his side, saw that even though yesterday might be murky, today was dawning clear and bright..
Kate Spencer was abducted as a child and decides before she begins her medical residency to confront the woman who took her. Kate has also been found by her real family and still has conflicting feelings about her foster parents. Hunter Bradshaw, the brother of her best friend, and an ex-cop, ex-con, wrongly convicted, decides to go with her. Together they try to unravel all the feelings and emotions they each carry. Things are pretty bland except for a few love scenes and both suddenly discover what has been bothering them and things are wrapped up pretty quickly.
This was a romance book that I thought was going to be related to a suspensful action. Reading it you can decide for urself. I skimnmed the last 145 pages just to see the fomulatic happenings in a romance. They are the same, but depends who's writing them that makes it worth reading. This wasn't a new author for me but I liked her other works alot more.
Kate has a tough time connecting with her new-found family. They have so much love bursting out for her that it's overwhelming. They've always felt she was out there somewhere, so that love has continued to exist and grow while they were apart. But for Kate, this is all new for her. Her early life with the woman who kidnapped her was full of things no child should ever experience. Then she was taken away and put into foster care, where she spent several unpleasant years before landing with a couple who knew how to help her. She doesn't know how to deal with the family or her place in it, and that makes her feel guilty. To top it all off, she's also has to deal with her long-standing crush on her best friend's brother.
Hunter has some issues of his own going on. After being accused and convicted of a crime he didn't commit, he spent three years on death row before new evidence proved his innocence. His time in prison changed him, causing him to build a wall around his feelings to protect himself. Thanks to his treatment at the hands of his fellow officers, he had lost his faith in the justice system and the law enforcement community. He's full of anger and bitterness. Since his release, he has had to learn how to handle his freedom and try to decide what to do with the rest of his life. Plus he has to deal with his attraction to Kate. Not only is she his little sister's best friend, but he believes that his time in prison makes it impossible.
I loved the development of Kate and Hunter's relationship. They had known each other for years but had kept their feelings to themselves. I loved the scene at Wyatt and Taylor's wedding, where both Hunter and Kate try to escape from the emotional overload and find themselves confiding in each other. Hunter's sensitivity to what Kate is going through leads him to offer his assistance in finding the woman who had kidnapped her, which at the same time will give him a reason to break out of his funk. He's not pleased when Kate insists on going with him, as he knows the strain it will put on his resistance. Kate second-guesses herself, too, because of her feelings for him, but her need to know outweighs her qualms. Their journey together was full of ups and downs. There were some really intense moments in the car when the sparks between them nearly set fire to the pages. There were other times when they were able to talk about the issues that haunted them, all of which drew them closer together. There were also times when one or the other would panic about their feelings and drawback or do something to push the other away. There were also several incidents along the way that added excitement and stress to an already eventful trip. Most of the time it involved Kate's big heart causing her to step into some situation, from delivering a baby to rescuing an old blind man from being robbed. Each time, Hunter is there to support her, even as he tries to protect himself. I really enjoyed the way that they were able to help each other work through the issues that were troubling them. I loved Hunter's big moment at the end. It was so sweet and romantic to see him tell Kate what he sees in her as she is in the middle of a huge meltdown and the effect it has on her belief in herself. The confession of his feelings was the icing on the cake. The epilogue was a terrific wrap-up of the series.
The suspense of the story was minimal. The premise was Kate and Hunter's search for the woman who kidnapped her so that Kate could find out why she did it. There ended up not being much needed in the way of searching, thanks to help from Kate's new-found brother Gabe, the FBI agent. There was an unexpected twist in what they found out, which made Kate's quest more difficult.