Mary Grace Winters was desperate to escape her abusive husband, for her sake as well as her son's. She runs to Chicago and adopts an assumed name: Caroline Stewart.
Caroline has worked hard to put her past behind her. She's working as a University secretary while putting herself through law school and raising her fourteen-year-old son, Tom. She's carefully avoided any romantic involvement ... until she meets her new boss, Max Hunter.
Blaming himself for a tragic accident and still haunted by his resulting handicap, Max is drawn to Caroline and is eager to gain her trust. Slowly, Caroline's self-protective walls break down and the two are becoming closer ... But they have no idea that Rob Winters, the man Caroline fought so hard to escape, is closing in on them.
This report prepared by Jennifer Shaw
Warner, Jul 2003, 5.99, 512 pp.
In Asheville, North Carolina Mary Grace is hospitalized after a fall down the stairs leaves her battered and partially crippled. Her husband police officer Rob Winters whispers a warning to her to keep quiet that he pushed her. When she begins to heal, she returns home, planning to disappear with their son Robbie before his father kills one of them during one of his control freak outs. Two years later, the opportunity arises and Mary accompanied by Robbie vanishes. Rob thinks they are dead while many law enforcement types think he killed her.
Seven years later, the county sheriff finds a car belonging to Rob in Douglas Lake, Tennessee, but no corpses inside. Rob goes to the locale and finds evidence in the vehicle that makes him believe Mary lives and has his son with him. Irate, he plans to locate her, beat the hell out of her, and take back his boy.
Living in Chicago, Mary works as an office assistant at Carrington College under the name of Caroline Stewart. She and the new head of the history department Dr. Max Hunter are attracted to one another. However, Rob is coming which means no one in her circle is safe.
Though action packed, the story line is character driven. Macho Rob is a sociopath predator who hides his abuse behind a thin caring veneer. Caroline is not the person he used to batter, having improved herself once she got out from under his oppression. Readers will admire her courage, but feel anguish and dismay at a support system that failed her while hoping that true justice prevails.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner