Book #6 of Dundee, Idaho Series
A second chance doesn’t mean second best.
Elizabeth O’Connell has survived one of the worst betrayals a wife can imagine. Finding out that she wasn’t the only woman in her husband’s life meant the end of her marriage and a year of personal hell. Now she’s focusing on her new business and raising her two kids.
Carter Hudson isn’t part of her plan. When he’s introduced to Liz by well-meaning friends, her dislike is instant. But as she spends time with him, Liz realizes she likes having Carter in her life–more than likes it. However, Carter has secrets in his past that he can’t seem to escape, secrets that apparently involve a woman. Liz is sure of on thing–she’ll never be “the other woman” again!
Elizabeth O’Conner wasn’t sure she could tolerate another minute. This was her fifth blind date in as many weeks, and each one had been significantly worse than the last.
“I heard what happened with your ex-husband.” Carter Hudson, the tall, dark-haired man lounging across from her at the new Dundee Inn & Steakhouse reached over to take her hand. “It must’ve been a terrible ordeal.”
With gold-colored eyes, and strong, rugged features, Carter wasn’t unhandsome. But the way his thumb covered the pulse at her wrist gave the impression he didn’t care so much about what she’d suffered as he did about pretending to commiserate with her–to make sure this night ended in as friendly a way as he hoped it would. Besides, his New York accent grated on her nerves. Almost everything about him grated on her nerves.
Looking for a distraction, she glanced around the dining room to see if she could spot someone she knew. She’d lived in Idaho for less than two years, but Dundee was a town of only 1,500 people, and she’d already become acquainted with many of the locals.
Unfortunately, it was a Thursday in late May and the height of the tourist season. She saw no one familiar. City slickers and yuppies filled the steakhouse, drawn to the area by the Running Y Ranch, which provided visitors with an authentic western vacation.
Stubbornly keeping her smile in place, Liz wished the waitress would hurry with their dinners and focused once again on her date. “It wasn’t easy,” she said. “But it’s over now. Thank God.”
He didn’t take the hint. “And yet you’re on friendly terms with your ex. Wasn’t that him on the phone a moment ago?”
Keith was attempting to fix the wall at her new store. She knew she probably shouldn’t allow him to do her any more favors. But she’d relied on him for so long that it was easier to accept his help than to refuse it. And he was the father of her children. If The Chocolatier proved as successful as she hoped it would, they all stood to benefit. With Keith working at the hardware store, it wasn’t as if he could give her much child support. “Yes.”
“You spoke to him as if the two of you are good friends,” he marveled.
It seemed that every man she dated either wanted to discuss his past relationships or hers. And once what had happened to her was out in the open, she faced a million questions.
She used the excuse of taking a drink of water to disengage her hand. “I don’t see any reason to be the stereotypical ex-wife.”
Carter relaxed into his chair with a sort of lazy grace. Judging from his build, he could move with incredible coordination and speed. But she doubted he ever really exerted himself. “That’s pretty forgiving. I’m sure it doesn’t sound very nice, but if I were you, I’d make him pay whether I was being stereotypical or not.”
Her grip tightened on her glass. Her emotions were very complicated when it came to Keith, and Carter’s negativity wasn’t helping. “Why? When we have so many friends and loved ones in common? Maybe it’d be different if we lived in a big city. But in a town like this, we have to deal with each other on a constant basis.”
“You’re serious? You can take what he did on the chin like that?”
“We have two children together,” she said, hoping he could understand that, if not anything else.
A snort of incredulity followed this statement. “And, from what I’ve heard, he has three more with your brother’s wife.”
Liz told herself to count to ten. She itched to get up and walk out. Without an explanation. Without a backwards glance. But she couldn’t. She loved Senator Garth Holbrook and his wife, Celeste, who’d set them up on this dinner date. She didn’t want her behavior to reflect poorly on them. Maybe if Carter was only a casual acquaintance of the senator’s, she wouldn’t have to be so careful. But he’d just opened up a small field office for Garth and worked with him regularly. “She wasn’t my brother’s wife at the time,” she said.
“No, you were both married to Keith.”
The waitress crossed the dining room, carrying two plates. Liz sat back in relief and anticipation. But even the arrival of their food wasn’t enough to distract Carter. He simply dodged the waitress’ movements as he talked. “So how long did he lead this double life? Wasn’t it close to eight years?”
Liz couldn’t imagine Senator Holbrook relaying such detailed information. Not when his daughter Reenie had suffered because of Keith, too. “Who told you about it?”
“Everyone who gets the chance,” he responded, adjusting the napkin on his lap.
“You’re talking about Keith, aren’t you?” the waitress said.
Liz had seen this woman around town, but until tonight they’d never actually spoken.
“What an incredible story,” she went on before they could answer. “That he was able to maintain two complete and separate families without ever giving himself away is truly amazing.”
“Yes, it is,” Carter said dryly.
Liz ground her teeth. They had no idea what she’d been through–or why. “Maybe if you knew Keith, you’d understand. He was gone half of every month. But as far as I knew it was his job that took him away. I had no reason to suspect him of being unfaithful to me.”
Carter rocked forward. “Unfaithful? He had a whole other family!”
“He wouldn’t strike you as the type of person to do what he did.”
“You were living with him,” he pointed out.
The waitress, who’d been struggling to light the candle on their table at last managed to succeed. “Yeah, but she and Reenie were two states apart. Otherwise, they probably would’ve found out about each other a lot sooner.” She put her lighter back into the pocket of her neat little burgundy apron and smiled engagingly at Carter. “By the way, I love your accent.”
Liz had no patience for the fawning waitress and ran right over Carter’s polite acknowledgement as she tried to make her point. “Keith has a strong sense of responsibility. That’s partly what got him in trouble.”
The waitress arranged the salt and pepper shakers in a rather obvious attempt to remain long enough to hear Carter’s response. But when Liz leveled her with a meaningful look, she finally seemed to realize that she had no business lingering.
“I’ll check back in a few,” she said, snapping into work mode.
“Thank you,” Liz said and picked up her fork.
The waitress hurried away as Carter began cutting into his steak. “If you ask me, lying and cheating is what got your ex-husband into trouble.”
There was a time when she wouldn’t have attempted to justify Keith’s actions. But now that she’d put some emotional distance between her and the revelation that had caused her divorce, she could almost understand how her ex-husband’s specific strengths and weaknesses had combined to turn a simple affair into an even bigger mistake. In any case, she felt more loyalty to Keith than she did this stranger. Without Keith marrying her, Mica wouldn’t have had the type of family she’d had for the first eight years of her life, and Christopher never would have been born.
“How can I blame Keith for loving Reenie when my own brother couldn’t resist her?”
“Your brother married her almost as soon as she was divorced from Keith, right?”
She bit back a sigh. “Right.”
“So you came first?” Carter asked. “He met the Senator’s daughter after?”
Liz cleared her throat, struggling with the shame that often engulfed her. She hadn’t come first. Keith had already been married to Reenie for three years when she met him on that plane. She hadn’t known it, of course. She and Reenie had lived in parallel universes that hadn’t collided until Liz’s brother had uncovered the truth eighteen months ago.
“No. But I had no idea he was already married.” She’d been pregnant with Mica and head over heels in love.
“It came as a complete shock.”
“Wow.” He wiped his mouth with his napkin. “As I was saying, you’re very generous to be on speaking terms with him.”
Despite what, on its face, appeared to be a compliment, Liz could feel Carter’s disapproval. “You’ve never been married, have you.”
He held his first bite halfway to his mouth. “What makes you think so?”
His inflexibility had given him away. He still believed he could call all the shots in a relationship, live in a clear-cut world. If she had her guess, he’d never been deeply in love or deeply hurt. So he had the luxury of believing he could be unyielding.
She swallowed some garlic mashed potatoes without tasting them. He’d learn someday, she told herself. She didn’t have to worry about it. This man wasn’t right for her. She wanted to steer the conversation back onto neutral ground until they could part ways as amicably as possible. “A good guess.”
Evidently, her tone had revealed more irritation or accusation than she’d intended because his expression grew guarded.
“Senator Holbrook said you’re from Brooklyn,” she said, trying to pick up the conversation and move on.
“That’s right. I grew up there.”
“How are you surviving living in such a small town? Certainly it’s a shock.”
“It’s different.” He shrugged as though he was going along with the shift in conversation, but the wariness that had become so noticeable after the marriage comment clung to him like frost. “I’m not convinced it’s all bad.”
“You’ve only been here a few weeks.”
“Are you telling me it’s going to get worse?”
She couldn’t help wishing his Dundee experience wouldn’t be entirely positive. “You haven’t been through a winter yet.”
His lips, which she would have found beautifully sculpted had she been willing to admire them, quirked. “Do you mean to give the impression that you’re trying to get rid of me?”
“I’m just doubtful you’ll like it here, that’s all,” she said as though her feelings were really that simple.
He started eating again, chewing slowly, his actions deliberate. “You’re from Los Angeles. How do you like it?”
It had taken a significant adjustment. If not for the desire to see her children grow up with their father nearby, she would’ve returned to L.A. long ago. But now…
She surveyed the familiar dining room. She didn’t want to tear Mica and Christopher away from Keith, and she couldn’t imagine leaving her brother, Reenie, or Reenie’s three girls. She was also afraid of what she might do if she were to go back. Trouble waited for her there in the form of her old tennis coach.
Briefly, she wondered if her infatuation with the younger Dave Shapiro was the cause of her less than enthusiastic response to the much more eligible men she was dating. “It’s becoming home.”
“You don’t think the same will happen for me?”
“I doubt it.” She stirred her potatoes with her fork because she didn’t want to meet his gaze. “I’m guessing you’re too ambitious for these parts.”
“You say that as though ambition is bad.”
“Not necessarily. As long as you don’t mind temporary relationships. Which means you won’t be staying long. Not if you’re interested in climbing the ladder of success.”
“Dundee’s not a real hot spot,” he agreed, washing another bite of meat down with a drink of wine. “But there’s nothing wrong with temporary relationships. People pass in and out of other people’s lives all the time. You never know what you might learn from someone, how a particular person can enrich your experience, even if they don’t become a permanent fixture.”
She chuckled softly. At least this guy made no apologies for who or what he was. She had to respect that. “Your words sound an awful lot like that country song, Still Got a Lot of Leavin’ Left to Do.”
He laughed out loud. Feeling a tad triumphant for seeing through him so quickly, she was tempted to let her lips curve into a self-satisfied smile. But she suspected that his motivations weren’t quite that simple. He just wanted her to think so.
She added butter to the sourdough roll on her bread plate. “How’d you meet Senator Holbrook in the first place?”
“When I went to college–”
“Where’d you go?”
Liz refused to let that impress her.
“Anyway, I thought I wanted to go into politics, so I interned for a state senator in Massachusetts. After I graduated, he hired me full-time, and I ran his first campaign.”
“But then I took a different career path. When I decided to get back into politics, I contacted him. He didn’t have an immediate opening, but he put out the word and almost before I knew it, I was flying out here.”
“I see. So you’re looking for someone to help stave off the boredom while you’re in Dundee? Is that it?”
“I’m interested in company,” he said with a shrug. “I’m not sure about anything else.”
“By anything else…you mean a relationship?”
He chewed his next bite before answering. Finally, he said, “Probably.”
“Well…” She gave him a confident smile. “You don’t have to put me on notice.”
A dimple flashed in his cheek, which seemed rather out of place on the hard planes of his face. “Interesting you think so.”
“Because from what I’ve heard so far, you seem more gullible than most women.”
Her knife scraped against the bottom of her plate. “Because my husband cheated on me?” she said, forcing herself to ease off on the pressure.
“He was husband and father to another family your entire marriage and you never suspected. That’s a pretty big thing to miss.”
Senator Holbrook’s new right-hand man certainly didn’t sugar-coat his responses. “If you’re intimating that I didn’t see the truth because I didn’t want to, you’re wrong.” Liz was tempted to tell him how devoted Keith had been, how he’d never even shown interest in another woman when he was in her presence. Reenie hadn’t suspected, either. But why waste the breath? She wasn’t ever going out with this man again.
“If you say so.”
“Are you trying to offend me, Mr. Hudson?” she asked.
“I’m trying to figure you out.”
She forked another bite of potatoes into her mouth and swallowed without tasting. “Don’t bother.”
He poured her some more wine from the open bottle on the table. “Too threatened by taking a hard look at yourself?”
She felt her eyebrows gather. “Excuse me, but this is a first date.”
He studied her. “And that means what?”
“I’d rather pretend I’m having fun.”
She expected him to be offended. But her words seemed to have the opposite effect. He actually chuckled as though he approved of her response. “So you do have a backbone.”
“You were checking?”
“I was curious. Something has to explain what happened.”
“That’s it.” She nearly spilled the drinks as she shoved away from the table. “I’m finished here.”
“Just because I won’t play according to the rules, Ms. O’Conner?”
“The rules?” she echoed, standing over him.
He didn’t bother getting up. “Stick to tedious small talk, never say anything that evokes an emotional reaction, be as solicitous and fake as possible. Those rules.”
“Maybe I like playing by the rules.”
“Then you’re smart to call it quits, because I value my time too much to waste it on meaningless encounters.”
She blinked, surprised that he’d come right back at her. Earlier, she’d been halfway convinced he wanted to take her home with him. She’d had no plans to comply, of course, but his willingness to let her go so easily still came as a shock. “That’s it?”
“If it’s all you can handle,” he said.
She stared at him. For the sake of her friendship with Reenie and Reenie’s parents, she knew she should sit back down. But she couldn’t. She had more than enough to worry about getting her new candy-making business up and running. She didn’t need this.
“Fine, no problem,” she said and stalked off.
Keith was busy taping the wall he’d just fixed when Liz came in through the back of the shop.
“Hey, that’s not bad,” she said.
The surprise in her voice made her ex-husband scowl. “You didn’t think I could do it?”
“You’ve never been known for carpentry. But most computer guys aren’t,” she added.
“I’ve been working at the hardware store ever since… Well, for a while,” he said instead of referring to what had caused him to give up his $190,000/year job with Softscape, Inc. to work for $12/hour in Dundee.
Liz was sort of grateful he’d chosen not to reiterate what had caused the destruction of life as she knew it. She didn’t need to be reminded of the fact that he’d abandoned her in an effort to save his marriage to Reenie. Carter had already done that.
“I’m getting the hang of being a handyman,” he added.
She didn’t think he’d ever be very good at manual labor. It wasn’t in him. But she was still grateful for his efforts. She’d sunk every dime from the sale of the house they’d shared in California into her new business and didn’t have the money to hire extra help.
“You’re learning.” The improvement to the premises she’d leased three weeks earlier lifted her spirits despite the frustration and anger still simmering toward Carter Hudson.
Pausing from his work, her ex ran his eyes over the simple coral-colored linen dress she’d worn for her date this evening. “You’re back awfully early.”
Liz didn’t want to admit what a flop her encounter with Senator Holbrook’s new aide really was, so she shrugged off the comment. “I’m tired.”
“You cut the evening short?”
She met his gaze. Dating was relatively new to her. Only in the past six months had she felt sufficiently recovered from her divorce to meet and mingle with other men. “We’d already had dinner.” Part of it, anyway, she added to herself.
“So you didn’t like him.”
Her ex-husband’s apparent relief made her supremely conscious of how badly Keith wanted her back. Sometimes she was tempted to relent, to do what she could to rebuild their relationship. With his chiseled features, deep brown eyes and dark-blond hair, he’d always appealed to her on a physical level. He appealed to her in a lot of other ways, as well. Memories of better days occasionally teased her into believing she could reclaim what they’d had.
But then she remembered that he loved Reenie more–that he’d been willing to give up her and their children if it meant he could keep his other wife–and couldn’t summon the trust. With Keith she’d always be second-best. He was only hoping to get back with her because Reenie was no longer available.
“I liked him fine,” she lied.
He wiped his hands on a pair of faded, holey jeans. “Garth acts as though Hudson’s the most brilliant man in the world.”
He was a Harvard graduate, which was certainly impressive. “He’s candid and confident.”
“Do you think he’s handsome?”
She pictured the dark-haired man she’d left at the steakhouse. “He’s okay, I guess.”
Keith squatted to scrape the edge of his trowel against the lip of the bucket at his feet. “Reenie claims he’s one of the best looking men she’s ever seen.”
Wanting to make sure the plumber had installed the new sink, Liz went into the small bathroom in the back corner. “Reenie’s a lot more enthusiastic about him than I am,” she called.
Evidently he heard her because he answered right away. “Why?”
“He has a New York accent.”
“You said that as if he has an unsightly mole covering half his face. What’s wrong with an accent?”
She wasn’t sure. It was just something she’d focused on. Maybe it was easier not to find him appealing if she dwelled on the blunt unfamiliar feel of his voice and language instead of his attractive features. “It’s pretty strong.”
“Word has it he grew up in Brooklyn. What else would you expect?”
She didn’t answer. She was too busy trying out the new sink.
“What does he look like?” Keith called.
Satisfied that the sink worked, she came out of the bathroom. “Do we have to talk about Carter?”
“I’m curious,” he insisted.
“Okay, he’s tall.”
Keith flicked some plaster off his forearm and stood. “Taller than me?”
She quickly tried to compare the two. “Maybe by a couple of inches.”
“That would make him nearly 6’4″,” he said, skeptically. “He’s not that tall, is he?”
Hearing the jealousy in Keith’s response, Liz grabbed a broom and started sweeping up the debris left behind by the previous tenant. She didn’t want to get caught up analyzing Carter Hudson. Especially with her ex-husband. She had a lot to do if she wanted to open The Chocolatier by Memorial Day. Although a candy shop was Liz’s idea, when Mary Thornton, who’d recently opened a gift store next door, heard about it, she decided to sell chocolate, too. Mary was busy building her business while Liz struggled to finish the improvements to her space.
“Is he?” Keith prompted.
“I don’t remember. He’s a big man, okay?”
“Big as in fat?”
With a sigh, she faced him. “No. Big as in muscular. Big as in he has broad shoulders, a well-defined chest and a flat stomach. Big as in–”
“Okay, okay, I get it,” he grumbled, holding up a hand to stop her. “Jeez, I thought you couldn’t remember.”
“You wanted details,” she said, and could’ve given him a few more. She hadn’t mentioned that Carter had a soccer player’s build, with nice long legs and large, rugged hands. Or that, judging from the golden color of his skin, he spent a fair amount of time outdoors, which she definitely hadn’t expected from a political aide. But she’d said enough.
“Have you heard from the kids?” she asked, changing the subject.
“No, was I supposed to check on them?” He wiped a bead of sweat from his temple. In an effort to save money, she hadn’t yet requested that the electricity be turned on.
“Not necessarily. I’m sure they’re fine. They love it at Reenie’s.”
“You’d know, since the two of you are such good friends,” he said flippantly.
The pique behind those words confirmed what Liz already knew. Keith hated how close she and his other ex-wife had become. Liz supposed she could understand why. After having the love and attention of both women for so long, he was suddenly the odd man out, and that wasn’t likely to change. Not now that Reenie had married Liz’s brother. It probably didn’t make the situation any easier for Keith that Isaac was also the man who’d found him out and revealed his duplicity.
“She’s my sister-in-law, remember?” Liz said, using a dustpan to dump what she’d swept up into the wheelbarrow he’d brought with him.
“I’m not likely to forget,” he mumbled. Dipping his trowel into the bucket, he smeared some more taping mixture on the wall. “Is this Carter guy planning on running for office someday?”
“I don’t know.” Liz’s mind had already shifted to what had to be done at the shop. “I hope the other display case I ordered will be big enough.”
“You didn’t ask?” Keith said.
“About the display case?”
“Whether or not Carter Hudson is someday planning to run for office.”
Carter again. Liz propped the broom against the wall. “No, I didn’t ask. Thanks to you, we talked mostly about me.”
The hand with the trowel stopped moving, then continued to scrape along the mended sheetrock. “What’d he want to know?”
She cleaned up the damaged ceiling tiles they’d torn down because they needed to be replaced. “Like everyone else, he was curious how you managed to get away with what you did for so long. And how we could still be friends.”
“That’s none of his business,” Keith snapped.
Liz ignored his response. “But he’s not as generous as most people,” she continued. “He seems to think I’m some kind of fool for not realizing that I was being duped.”
“Then, it didn’t go well between you.”
That was all that registered from what she’d shared? Closing her eyes, Liz shook her head. “No,” she finally admitted. “It didn’t go well.”
“Good. Maybe, even though he’s big as in muscular and well-built, I won’t be as easy to replace as you thought.”
He lifted his arms as if her pointed stare was a gun. “That’s all I’m saying.”
“You’ve said it before. As much as I wish it wasn’t so, it’s too late for us.”
“With a little forgiveness, it doesn’t have to be,” he murmured.
The look on his face would’ve stirred something inside her, once. It had been a long time since he’d touched her–since any man had touched her. In a way, she wanted to turn back the days and months, to feel the old excitement. But, handsome as Keith was, she had so little feeling for him left.
“Thanks for fixing the wall,” she said. “I’d better go pick up the kids.”
Fortunately, he let her slip out without saying another word. She was grateful, relieved. But when she reached her brother and sister-in-law’s small farm, she found the porch light on and a note tacked to the door.
Liz–We’re at my parent’s. Stop by, okay?
“Great,” she grumbled, crushing the paper in her hand. She was going to have to give an accounting of her date to Senator Holbrook and his wife before she could pick up her children.
“The Other Woman touches upon every woman’s feelings of rejection. Both Carter and Elizabeth must deal with their pasts before they find a future together. Although The Other Woman can stand alone, I recommend that readers first pick up Reenie’s story, Big Girl’s Don’t Cry (Harlequin Super Romance #1296), as it is not only a great read but also will adds the background to this story. Brenda Novak has written a romance with truly complex relationships that keep the reader turning the pages and keeps them engrossed in the story until the last page.”
-Melissa at Joyfully Reviewed
“Just when you think the last book of the Dundee series was the best and there couldn’t be another one done better, Brenda Novak goes and proves you wrong. She writes an emotionally packed story about characters and their situations you find yourself caring about…Brenda Novak has the gift of involving the reader in her story on all levels. Each book feels richer, more full-bodied….There’s no need for her to change her voice or style, she seems to have found it and simply made it stronger.”
-Connie at OnceUponARomance.com
“THE OTHER WOMAN is another down-to-earth and satisfying romance that explores the basics of everyday life: family, career, love, and just holding it all together. Brenda Novak’s greatest power as a writer is her ability to convey these topics in an interesting and emotional way. The sense of community that is ingrained in THE OTHER WOMAN, along with the rest of the Dundee novels, is another special feature that makes this series so wonderful. Liz is a character that has overcome a lot of hardships in her life so it was really great seeing her blossom under the humor, care, and intelligence of a man who was genuine and honest. Carter was equally lost at the beginning, mired in the past and regrets. Carter and Liz both helped each other come alive again and discover the love and support they needed. As always, it was a great pleasure revisiting Dundee and the people who make up this warmhearted town. I like how there is good and bad in Dundee, that nobody is perfect and I think THE OTHER WOMAN really exemplifies the realistic human qualities Ms. Novak infuses into her characters and settings. Passion, the past, love, and hopes and dreams collide in this captivating story.”
-Sarah W. at romancejunkies.com
“THE OTHER WOMAN is another compassionate novel in the Dundee, Idaho series by talented Brenda Novak. This tale continues with familiar well loved characters and a fresh story line that will grasp your attention and hold it. Ms Novak packs a lot of drama and interwoven suspense in this gratifying romance, THE OTHER WOMAN.”
-Donna Zapf at cataromance.com
“With a careful eye for characterization, Brenda Novak makes this unusual situation work and the relationships believable, even when Liz’s determination never to be second choice again makes her rush into a bad decision late in the book. The dialogue and interactions are excellently done. THE OTHER WOMAN is a heartwarming tale.”
-Jane Bowers, Romance Reviews Today
This book is a spicy complex soap opera of a novel that kept my interest peaked until the very end…The relationship between Carter and Liz was hot and steamy, and the author did a good job demonstrating that! She handled the sex scenes perfectly, leaving enough to the reader’s imagination. The children played only a minor role in the story, creating a different feel from some of the other superromances I’ve read recently. It was definitely not a “family-themed” romance, but was a romance with adult issues running throughout the story.
There is definitely room for more sequels in the DUNDEE, IDAHO series by Brenda Novak. With such a complex set of relationships, the next novel will be sure to be a winner. I enthusiastically recommend THE OTHER WOMAN.
Brenda Novak has added another winner to her list of wonderful books with THE OTHER WOMAN. Her down-home writing style flows effortlessly, painting a picture worth a closer look. Ms. Novak’s knack for creating believable characters that is easy to fall in love with glitters throughout her story…I relished each word…Ms. Novak seizes an impossible situation and turns it into a loving tale. She gets you to look beyond her subjects past lives and focus on their sensual new beginning. I encourage you to grab a copy before they are sold out.
-Kim Swiderski, Writers Unlimited
Novak continues her loosely connected series set in Dundee, Idaho, with this emotionally intense story of one woman starting over again. Complex, realistically flawed characters and a love story with a dash of danger are beautifully blended in this excellent contemporary romance.
-John Charles, Booklist