From Publishers Weekly
When we last left 37-year-old Jeremy Marsh (a scant six months ago, in Sparks's April pub True Believer
), the science columnist had traveled from his New York base to Boone Creek, N.C., to get a story—and ended up falling in love with Lexie Darnell, the 30-year-old town librarian. Now Lexie's pregnant—but it's true love (and a portable job) that's allowing divorcé Jeremy to move down so they can marry and build a life together. The book centers on the tension-filled runup to the wedding. Sparks pulls out all the smalltown stops—psychic grandmother, meddling mayor, sullen townie ex, jealous best friends—and offers Mars/Venus commentary on what makes his characters tick. Jeremy's writer's block, instead of heightening the will-they-or-won't-they tension, is as enervating for readers as it is for him. More compelling are the mysterious e-mails Jeremy receives that suggest Lexie may not be telling the truth (about who the father is, for one thing), and the character of Lexie's psychic grandmother, Doris, who has correctly predicted the sex of every child born in the town. As the wedding gets closer (and house renovations suck more and more money from Jeremy's dwindling savings), Jeremy and Lexie have some serious talking to do, and Sparks throws in a substantial zinger at the end. It's majorly manipulative and totally effective. Have plenty of tissues on hand. (Oct. 18)
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The relationship between journalist Jeremy Marsh and librarian Lexie Darnell that began in True Believer
(2005) has now progressed. Jeremy is moving from New York to Boone Creek, North Carolina, as they plan for their wedding and the birth of their child. A friend of Jeremy's warns him that he really doesn't know Lexie, and asks him if he's sure that he's in love. With the seeds of suspicion planted, Jeremy starts receiving mysterious e-mails that also cast doubt on their relationship. Add to that the fact that he is dealing with writer's block and that he has to come to terms with a change in lifestyle as an urbanite now living in the rural South. This is a man under duress. To avoid gossip, he and Lexie are maintaining separate residences and keeping the pregnancy a secret. Lexie is comfortable with the town's rules of behavior, but Jeremy is at a loss and finds himself tense and unsure about the future of what he thought was the perfect match. With his trademark sensitivity, Sparks delves into the nitty-gritty of relationships, and considers the sacrifices that each partner has to make in order to have a successful marriage. And readers beware: this is multiple-hankie romance. Patty EngelmannCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved