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Sierra Paperback – June 13, 2012
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About the Author
Taylor Dean lives in Texas and is the mother of four grown children. Upon finding herself with an empty nest, she began to write the stories that were always wandering around in her head, quickly finding she had a passion for writing, specifically romance. Whether it’s paranormal, contemporary, or suspense—you’ll find all sub-genres of clean romance in her line-up. For more information on Taylor's books, please go to www.taylordeanbooks.com.
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Alyssa is on vacation with her family when tragedy strikes, and in what feels like mere moments, an idyllic scene does in fact become a nightmare — not the nightmare I was worried about, but certainly heart-wrenching at best. One moment is all smiles and happiness, and in a cruel twist of circumstance, everything is almost instantly shattered. Alyssa is taken from her family, driven to the middle of nowhere, forced to walk through miles and miles of wilderness, and quickly losing hope. Despite the unimaginable circumstances, she tries (and ultimately fails) to escape twice, until it’s clear that there really is no getting away from her captors. But just when it seems that there’s no escaping a violent fate, salvation appears in the form of a remote cabin and its lone resident.
Alex has secluded himself deep in the woods, away from civilization and his own tragic past. The last thing he expects is for two incompetent criminals to come bursting through his door at dinner time, and certainly not with an abused captive in tow. I don’t want to give the whole story away, but I’m guessing it’s obvious he saves her, right? Only now he has an injured, devastated woman in his home, and his separation from civilization doesn’t exactly make it easy to return her home. He’s arranged his life so that there is virtually no contact with the outside world. No phone, no radio, not even a car or road to carry them out of the wilderness. So until his annual delivery of supplies is made by helicopter next year, they’re stuck. That should give them plenty of time to fall in love, right? The falling is slow, of course. Two people bound by circumstance and sharing in tragedy have more on their minds than romance, and Taylor Dean expresses that in her characters so well. There’s heartache, frustration, friendship, and a slow build, all the while shadowed by the fear that one of Alyssa’s kidnappers may return.
In may ways, the tale is told perfectly, unfolding at just the right speed and pulling you in. Alex is understanding, protective of, and careful around Alyssa. They’re strangers, after all, and while they’ve been thrown together and managed to survive, there’s no rush to a happily ever after. When it finally does come, though, things are a little too perfect. The things Alex says, while exactly what we want to hear are… well, they’re exactly what we want to hear, in a way that stamps out the otherwise realistic flow of their relationship. He expresses his emotions too completely and in ways that even the most sensitive men rarely do — I mean, what grown man living the life of a hermit on a mountain freely uses the word “frolick”? Unfortunately, that’s pretty much the way the whole story wrapped up — a little too neatly, conveniently, quickly… While the bulk of their tale was a measured climb, the conclusion was jarringly sudden and strayed from the otherwise perfect pacing.
Taylor Dean certainly knows how to spin a tale. There’s heartache, danger, healing, and romance… basically all the things for which we escape into books in the first place. She doesn’t shy away from grief and loss, but she doesn’t throw readers into a never-ending angst party either. I loved the characters, and I couldn’t put the book down until I’d read the very last word. Now I just need to go get all her other books, and I’ll be a happy camper.
She has the perfect husband who her father believes is beneath her a son she adores and the outlook for the future is perfect. Her father is a piece of work, more concerned about appearances and his social standing as opposed to the happiness of his only daughter. Unbeknownst to her, while vacationing she becomes the target of Pa, a psychopathic narcissist who kills her family and kidnaps her to recreate 'Adam and Eve'. Against all odds she refuses to become a victim and makes several attempts to escape.
Enter her hero Dr. Alex Kendrick a man on self imposed exile from the real world living in the remoteness of the woods. Death seems to follow him and he's afraid to love again until he sees Alyssa. Whilst aiding in her recovery from trauma suffered at the hands of her kidnappers, he falls in-love and dares to dream that happiness could once again be his. They have soo much in common and seem kindred spirits, yet to achieve this happily ever after Alex will have to face the demons of his past.
Together they set out to conquer their past however difficult. When they think they're free to love, tragedy rears its ugly head and again they both have to overcome. This test however, will determine whether unconditional love can conquer all. In the end, mistakes are made, decisions are reached and the future never looked as bright.
A beautiful read.