by Paula Detmer Riggs

June 2003
ISBN: 0-451-41083-1
Reviewer Graphic Button Onyx
Mass Market Paperback

Rhys Hazard is the successful owner of North Star Trucking, but his life has been anything but easy. When he was only seventeen he had a horrible confrontation with his mother and drove away so distraught that he had an accident with a school bus that left him crippled and killed others. He was sentenced to prison and after he was released he couldn't go home again. He tries to help others who have had less-than-perfect lives by giving them jobs with his company. He is also given a chance to help his hometown after it has been ravaged by floods by setting up a division there that will bring in much needed jobs. He wants to do this secretly, since he has changed his name as well as his life, but an accident sidelines his representative. Rhys, aka Michael Sullivan, must face his past and future on his own.

Brina lost her brother on that long ago day. Ironically, she married Rhys' brother, but he betrayed her with an affair. Brina is now doing her best to raise her two children by running a bed and breakfast and enduring the often-late support checks from her ex. When Rhys returns she has every reason to hate him, but Marcy, Brina's young daughter, is able to put forgiveness in perspective.

Everyone in this book has a steamer trunk load of emotional baggage and most rightfully so. Rhys has to deal with physical and emotional pain daily, but has compensated by helping others. Other characters have been unhappy due not only to circumstances, but poor choices as well. Ms. Riggs shows us that hope and redemption are possible even in the worst circumstances in this heartwarming and moving novel.

Never Walk Alone has plenty of steamy love scenes that will keep you turning the pages. John, Rhys' brother and Brina's ex, is the villain you love to hate. His concern with outward appearances and cavalier attitude unfortunately ring all too true in today's society. Ms. Riggs is a masterful storyteller and this book is a fabulous addition to her body of work.

Reviewed in August 2003 by Roberta.

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