Reviewed by Sandra Scholes
There haven't been many novels released for publication on the 14th February, but this is one of them, and a real romantic love story where Kate comes to Southport and in an instant, she causes a storm. She is a real beauty, yet doesn't want to get into love affairs with men, not when she has been heartbroken before. She does however get embroiled in two different relationships with men she feels she shouldn't have, so things don’t go to plan for her.
Kate needs to let her hair down and her barriers to true love, but her past keeps coming back to haunt her with a terrible secret that threatens to destroy any chances of happiness.
Kate to everyone around her is an average girl who works at a restaurant, and minds her own business. She doesn't take much notice of the people around her, and doesn't want to get to know anyone in particular. She also has a rule she never breaks; she never dates the men she works with, and that unfortunately applies to Alex, the guy who is most interested in her. Alex spends a little time with her at work, and he begins to feel closeness to her he had not felt since his wife had been alive. Alex has a deep past where he remembers his wife as a caring individual who helped bring up their children and when Kate shows affection toward one of them during an accident, it reminds him of a past where he was content.
It doesn't take long before readers discover that Kate is an independent woman and likes to think she can leave whenever she wants to. She isn't one who likes to feel caged in, and the reality of her not being able to do what she wants tends to give her a complex. Jo, her friend thinks she should date Alex as she believes he is a stable man who loves his kids and might be able to give her a good life. Kate pretends not to be interested in Alex but Jo knows full well that she wouldn't be so chatty with him if she didn’t want to date him. No matter how much she claims otherwise, she's kidding her self.
Alex is still mourning the loss of his wife, but liked the fact he could rely on someone like Kate even if she refuses to accept that she has a fancy for him. The parts that impressed me about this novel:
- The pacing is right.
- The characters are believable - it isn't a sordid bodice-ripper but a heart felt love story between two people.
- It's a case of the irresistible force going against the immovable object where Alex and Kate are concerned.
- Both of them have had to come to terms with sadness in their lives, and have a lot to overcome so that they can live a normal life together.
There are other interesting parts to this story, Alex used to be in the CID and worked with abused women, and sees something similar in Kate as he saw in other women, but he is not altogether sure of his instincts. She does have a troubled past, but readers don't get to find out until later on in the novel. Nicholas Sparks, the author of The Notebook, The Best of Me, The Rescue, Message in a Bottle, and The Guardians has written a true love story that is believable from the moment you turn the first page.
Nicholas Spark’s new novel is also a new movie due for release in early February. Staring Josh Duhamel and Julianne Hough, the trailer can be watched here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mj6i_Z1Srsw