Michael Warner has been drifting in a numb haze since the death of his lover, who was killed by a drunk driver. As the anniversary of the wreck approaches, Michael's grief grows more suffocating. Yet he must find a way through the maze of pain and secrets to live for their troubled young daughter.
Out of the darkness comes a voice, a lifeline he never expected to find--Rebecca O'Neill, a development executive in the studio where he works as an electrician. Rebecca, a former celebrity left scarred from a crazed fan's attack, has retreated from the limelight, certain no man can ever get past her disfigurement. The instant sparks between her and Michael come as a complete surprise--and so does her almost mystical bond with his daughter.
For the first time, all three feel compelled to examine their scars in the light of love. But trust is hard to come by, especially when you're not sure what to believe when you look in the mirror. The scars? Or the truth?
OMG, what can I say about this book that hasn't been said already? I was so jealous when others were reading the ebook, but I made the decision to wait for it to come out in paperback format, so that's my issue. And when the time finally came for its release, I was so excited and couldn't wait to get my copy.
It's such a gift to read a book that moves you deeply. Especially one that is such a basic yet complex love story. Michael's and Rebecca's story didn't need to be about a murder mystery, or being chased, or any other subplot to take away from their journey. The focus was on these two people, both who've had their hearts broken in some monumental way, and how they found their way to each other.
Probably the most significant revelation in this book is about love, and just how open and free of labels it is. This is especially true in Michael's case. I believe that for some people, their sexual/romantic preference cannot necessarily be categorized as homosexual, or heterosexual or even bisexual. They have this ability to love that is so open, perhaps, that when they fall in love, it's not about whether it's with a man or a woman, but just that they've made a strong and lasting connection with someone, and their gender isn't a factor. Maybe it's just the Libra in me, but I don't see love or sexuality in black and white, so this element of the storyline was completely believable, and incredibly wonderful to experience. Michael himself didn't struggle with this as much as other people did. Yes, he was in love and committed to another man for many, many years, and would have stayed committed to him if he hadn't died. Now Alex is gone, and Michael finds himself, a year later, falling in love with a woman.
And that woman is Rebecca O'Neill, a former actress who was scarred in an attack from a crazed fan. She feels an immediate attraction to Michael, but is wary for many reasons, especially considering that his previous relationship was with a man. How can she trust that what he feels is real and true, and not just a way to hold on to his deceased lover? She wants to believe, longs for it deep in her bones, but it's not easy, not considering his past, or hers.
I loved Michael and Rebecca, thought they had flaws and issues, but that's what made them so interesting. They weren't perfect by any means. However there was a connection between them that grew stronger the more they were together. And they shared a love for Michael's daughter that brought them closer.
As I mentioned, I loved the simplicity of this story, the natural way it was told. Nothing dazzling or dramatic, just a beautiful love story unfolding slowly on the pages. At times my heart ached for Michael, who'd lost someone he dearly loved, and other times it would ache for Rebecca, who longs to be loved yet cannot fully trust that the feelings Michael has for her are genuine. But he doesn't see her scars like other people do. To him, Rebecca is beautiful, and her scars don't take away from that. They are part of who is is, what she survived, and he treasures her for how strong she is, even if she doesn't see it. But if it's up to Michael, she will.
So I went in with high expectations, and was not disappointed. I didn't know what I was going to get, but what I discovered was well worth the reading journey. It was a story that moved me, very much so, and I still think about throughout the day as I go about my business. I think what it has done is made me a little more aware of people that I know, and how we look at each other. And it's a pretty cool thing.
I know I'm all over the map here, and I apologize for that. What it comes down to is that I loved this book and highly recommend it. Open your heart and your mind and just let yourself experience the pain and joy of falling in love. It's a lovely story.
Rating: ***** out of *****
Labels: Deidre Knight