Kindle Edition, 512 pages
Genre: Romantic Suspense
It was a desperate plan. But Mary Grace Winters knew the only way to save herself and her child from her abusive cop husband was to stage their own death. Now all that remains of their former life is at the bottom of a lake. Armed with a new identity in a new town, she and her son have found refuge hundreds of miles away. As Caroline Stewart, she has almost forgotten the nightmare she left behind nine years ago. She is even taking a chance on love with Max Hunter, a man with wounds of his own. But her past is about to collide with the present when her husband uncovers her trail and threatens her hard-won peace. Step by step, he's closing in on her- and everything and everyone she loves.
This was quite a read. I don't know quite where to begin with this novel. It was a gripping tale, but it was also eye opening in a way. Domestic violence isn't something we always think about, and when it's presented as such a stark reality, it becomes far uglier than you might think when you hear of these abuse victims.
Caroline has run away from a violent husband, a husband so violent that he kills without regard for human life, devaluing others in a way that is chilling and disturbing. Sadly, his character reminds us that there are those in this world who hold things like kindness, love, compassion and family cheaply. I was thrilled to have a heroine who ran from such a man, who took her life back into her own hands in that way to save not only herself, but her son. I was also thrilled to see her, after years of re-building her life, finding security and love with Max.
Max was a damaged character as well, and both he and Caroline reminded each other that they were not the only ones who had endured suffering, and loss. I think it was important for Caroline to realize she had moved forward in her life, saved herself and her son--but had also put a bubble around herself as well. Max helped her make that realization, but he also learned to accept others into his life again because Caroline pushed him too. I liked this couple, they were both stubborn, but both knew when they had made mistakes and moved through that together.
I don't want to reveal too much about the plot itself, because that ties into the suspense part of the story and I wouldn't want to ruin that for anyone. But the plot was well developed, the pacing of it was perfect and each scene brought us closer and closer to the climax of the story. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and can recommend this romantic suspense to any fan of the genre.