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"Beneath a Scarlet Sky" by Mark Sullivan
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But she also made a promise to Emily. A promise to deliver a picture to Nicholas, a disenchanted rock star struggling to make sense of Emily's death and deal with his own grief over the loss. She does deliver the picture, but not before she finds more than she bargained for in Nicholas's company. Nicholas is understandably upset about the photograph, and Sophie leaves, certain she'll never see him again. But she was wrong, and a snowstorm finds them snowed in at her apartment for several days.
Just when she starts to think love is possible, his track record with women and her hidden past threaten to destroy what might have been.
Warning: You're gonna cry. I teared up in three different parts and I can usually control my emotions like an ice queen. This story was amazing. I loved the characters and could feel Sophie's roller coaster of emotions throughout. Her love and grief, her confusion and her anger. She is the epitome of a woman trying to hide all her pain from the world around her, but finds it all spills over at the most inopportune moments.
Nicholas was a gentleman and not arrogant or possessing of a sense of entitlement. Nothing like what you'd expect a rock star to be. Which I loved, because I'm not particularly fond of vanity in a hero.
I don't want to ruin the story for you, so I won't reveal too much, but there were several surprises in the plot that I was definitely NOT expecting, making it all the more enjoyable for me.
At this point in the review I usually say, "With that said,..." and tell you about something that could have been improved. But, honestly, although it wasn't perfect, I have NO complaints. I loved every bit of the story. The author thoroughly developed the plot from beginning to end. I'm amazed.
I read the whole thing in one sitting. I could NOT put it down. And I don't say this lightly. I'm not a particularly fast reader, but this was worth my time and made me want to check out all of Stephanie Taylor's other titles. If I thought I could get away with it, I'd call in sick the rest of the week and just read her books.
Nicholas is a rock star, who just doesn't have time for his daughter. At least, that's the way Sophie sees it. She despises the man without ever having laid eyes on him, because he's never been around for Emily, except for a few visits when she is in the end stages of her illness. Emily's dying wish, however, is for Sophie to take him "the picture of us," so she feels a responsibility to honour the little girl's request and ends up at the after party of one of his concerts. In her wallet, she carries a picture of Emily and her father together, though wondering why it was so important to Emily for her father to have the picture.
After finally meeting and talking to Nicholas, he gives the impression of having cared for his daughter very much, so Sophie is increasingly puzzled by his absence during her lifetime. As they get to know each other better, first at the party, and then having him snowed in at her place for several days, the pieces of the puzzle come together in ways neither one of them expected, and their mutual respect and admiration for each other grows, as does their attraction. Sophie isn't ready for a relationship, however, and in the end, what brings them together is something Sophie never expected.
WARNING: Do NOT read this book without a box of tissues handy!