30yo journalist gets injured on the job in Florida & goes back to her family home in Georgia after 12 yrs. Since her close-knit family drove away her best friend & only love when she was 10 because of a traumatic event involving his dad & her, heroine has continually felt betrayed & angry with her family & has not stopped searching for Hero’s whereabouts. Her return to her family home coincides with Hero’s return. Their reunion churns the past, with its mistakes, hurts, & questions, for all involved & challenges the love Hero & heroine feels for each other.
This was a good romance, built within a family saga. The writing was excellent. Smith used anecdotes of heroine’s large & extended Irish-American family to connect us to Hero & heroine’s characters, help us understand the nature of Hero & heroine’s love from childhood onward, & involve us in the lives of the family. Good emotional involvement. The characters came alive with the story & showed depth & development. There were some poignant moments, along with some amusing & strange ones. Sexual chemistry only came later when Hero & heroine became adults, although we get an inkling of gender-differentiated awareness b/w Hero & heroine earlier.
My minor complaints are the generalized sex scenes. I prefer more details for greater impact. I also didn’t like Hero & heroine’s casual attitude about sex. It didn’t fit with their long abiding & obsessive love for each other. They compromised themselves & their love with their hormones. They avoided long-term commitment with others but not casual sex.