by Fern Michaels

July 1995
ISBN: 0-7472-4995-4
Reviewer Graphic Button Fawcett Books
Mass Market Paperback

This is the story of Jory's failed marriage to Ross Landers. It is a story rich in characterisation. Jory tries to get away from the demons she has built up of her past. After returning to her hometown after five years she meets up with Ross Landers, her ex-husband, again. There's still a lot of feeling between them but Jory finds this too difficult to deal with. She adopts four puppies, which become her family. She rents her carriage house to Pete, who is Ross' best friend. To complicate matters Pete loves her deeply, but she sees him only as a friend.

A car accident changes all their lives. Jory has to depend on Ross and Pete in turn has to depend on Jory. Jasper, Ross' father, also plays a large part in the tale. There's a healthy dose of sexual feeling throughout this book, first between Ross and Jory and then later between Pete and Jory. Jory getting close to Ross' mother, Justine further complicates the relationships.

I could not like Justine, even though we see her motives more clearly towards the end of the book. Sometimes I wanted to shake Jory, she made so many complications for herself and expected too much of others. She always ended up disappointed.

Ms Michaels makes the characters very believable. They have such a lot of emotional baggage to offload in order to find any kind of happiness in the future. She examines their feelings very closely and as a reader I felt I was getting to know real people.

There are some excellent secondary characters in the story, like Pete's wonderful parents.

Ms Michaels explores the effect a bad up bringing can have on children when they reach adulthood. Jory and Ross try to change their lifestyles. Ross changes his completely and discovers a new closeness with his Father. Jory finds it harder to forget the old Ross and the hurt from his early rejection. I enjoyed this story. It certainly kept me close to the characters throughout the book. I found the ending a bit disappointing, though I can't say it was a bad ending, just not the one I would have prefered.

I gave this book four stars.

Reviewed in October 2001 by Mary.

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