Mira, Feb 2004, 6.50, 448 pp.
In Rose Hill, Texas in 1998, New York based author Cameron Ford attacks high school counselor Rachel Forrester for failing to stop his son from committing suicide. Cameron, who feels guilty for not being there when his son Jack needed him, takes it out on Rachel, who had six sessions with the star athlete before he killed himself.
Five years later, Rachel catches her husband Ted, a doctor, sleeping with his partner's wife. Ted blames Rachel insisting that he loves Francine Dalton. The partner forces Ted out of the practice, squeezing him economically. Rachel and their two children move to her mom's home, next door to Nick. As the kids find Nick more of a father than Ted, Rachel and the author fall in love. However, something sinister involving high school sports and her teenage son must be dealt with before anything permanent can occur.
The Forrester family and Cameron keep this exciting romantic suspense from falling into a low level conspiracy tale as the story line contains several intertwining subplots that tie together through healthy and dysfunctional relationships. Cameron and Rachel are a delightful duo and her kids and mom provide depth. On the other hand Ted is so pathetic that readers will easily write him off as a loser who subtracts from a solid family drama. The sinister conspiracy that is ancient history (four decades ago) would seem unreal, but with recent headlines involving priests and cover-ups appears genuine, making for a terse thriller.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner