by Inglath Cooper

July 2004
ISBN: 0-373-71214-6
Reviewer Graphic Button Harlequin
Mass Market Paperback

After catching her husband and his pregnant lover "in the act", Addy files for divorce and works even longer hours as a lawyer. She knows their marriage wasn't perfect, but Mark's brazen betrayal after eleven years has left her stunned and wondering how much was her fault. Addy's friend ,Ellen, encourages her to get back into having some fun and a social life. During an unexpected layover for a business trip, Addy runs into her childhood friend ,Culley Rutherford. A few drinks and talking about the past end up with a night of unexpected passion. Addy is so scared by her out of character behavior, she runs off the next morning without explanation. When Culley tracks her down and tries to call, she refuses to answer his messages.

Addy does answer a call from her mother's best friend to tell her that her mother has been hospitalized. Addy drops everything to return to her small Virginia hometown; the same hometown where Culley where has a medical practice and is raising his young daughter alone while his ex-wife is in jail. When Addy decides to take a leave of absence to help her mother with her business, she discovers part of her mother's illness could have been caused by stress from pressure from unknown sources to sell her orchard land and home so an Interstate can come through.

Time with her mom and the slower pace of life gives Addy time to see that the past can't be changed, but is often different when seen from other's perspectives. All the characters in the well-crafted novel have Unfinished Business and they must make choices that affect not only themselves, but others. There is tender, but passionate romance, but also many other emotional issues touched on and dealt with in a compassionate, but realistic manner. Addy and Culley are a heroine and hero the reader can relate to because they have to deal with wounds from the past and present that unfortunately are all too commonplace. The reader realizes their happy ever after will be tempered with dealing with ongoing issues beyond their control.

Ms. Cooper has written an ultimately uplifting story of second chances, forgiveness and new beginnings. Her insight into human nature and talent to turn the perfect phrase will guarantee continued success in her writing career.

Reviewed in June 2004 by Roberta.

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