Reviewer Michelle Kaye Malsbury:
Michelle was born in Champaign, IL. Currently, she resides in Asheville, NC
and is in her second year of doctoral studies at Nova Southeastern
University in Ft. Lauderdale with specialization/concentration in
conflict resolution and peace studies. She has over six hundred
articles published on the web and one book published thus far with
many more in the wings. Hobbies include; reading, writing, music, and
playing with her Australian Cattle Dog, Abu.
Author: Elizabeth Crook
Publisher: Sarah Crichton Books
The novel opens up with a shooting on the campus of University of Texas, Austin. Tragedy demands action. Here the main characters meet and become intertwined for the remainder of this captivating tale. The hero (Wyatt) and heroine (Shelly) fall desperately in love, but there is a glitch. The hero is already married and expecting his first child as a graduate student of art at UT. The heroine is an undergraduate with dreams of joining the Peace Corp and traveling to faraway places. What will they do?
Realizing it is wrong, the hero and heroine embark on a two-year love affair where Shelly finds out she is pregnant. Her family does not want the scandal this unwed pregnancy would bring to their small town in Texas because her father is trying to secure another term as Sheriff. They devise a plan to allow Shelly to fulfill her pregnancy and adopt her child from the safe distance of an Aunt’s home in a neighboring community where nobody will notice her changing shape.
Shelly is so torn between her love and longing for Wyatt and what this truth will do to his family. She tells Wyatt and then asks him to remain with his family. He does as she requests, but never forgets the love they shared.
As things end up the cousin of Wyatt and his wife are unable to have children of their own, they end up adopting Shelly baby girl and name her Carlotta. Shelly feels secure in knowing that these are good people who will give her daughter a wonderful life and lots of love. However, she is forlorn and pines for her adopted child.
A few years later while Shelly is working in a tourist town trinket shop in walks the adoptive family that Shelly has never forgotten. Is it the beginning of something wonderful or the end of her pining? Delia, the adoptive mother is so astonishingly sweet that she includes Shelly in the life of their daughter as a close personal friend. As the child grows up and begins a life of her own and eventually Shelly moves out of this despair into a loving relationship where she and her husband have a daughter of their own things become sticky. Carlotta has dreamed of one day meeting her natural mother and father and asking them why they gave her up. She has devised many various tales as to why this would occur, but the truth could never come close to those possibilities.
I do not want to spoil this book for you, the reader, but I enjoyed it immensely and I believe you will too! Add it to your reading list.