Holly being nervous around other people is an understatement. She doesn’t mind them living their own lives in their world, as long as they leave her alone in hers. Even talking to other people is difficult. One might say that she was skittish even. Holly is only 24 but she has deep dark secrets that keep her separated from other people for fear they will discover them. She lives in splendid isolation in a home on a huge piece of land that abuts the bay with a wooded area as well. She sees this land as her own private oasis and only goes to town when she really has to.
Cade is a writer whose last book was considered a flop and he is under pressure to write another best seller. He takes some time off from his life in busy New York City and comes to his hometown of Cape Charles to try and find inspiration for the next book that he was contracted to write. He’s in his 30’s and worries that if the next book isn’t as successful as his earlier books his career as a true life crime writer will be over. When then he stumbled onto the attractive Miss Holly and determines that there is a story to tell there and he is going to find and write about it.
From two different points of view, we read the story of how Cade woes Holly into a friendship that develops into something more. We read as he slowly wins her trust and becomes a part of her life. She is defensive at first and then gradually allows him to be a part of her world. It’s not all smooth sailing and the friendship profoundly changes the world for both of them. The story takes place over the course of a month and is an evenly paced story to follow.
The only real negative in this story that seems glaringly obvious is that it is almost unbelievable that Holly, having kept secrets all her life, would suddenly change her ways and trust Cade so easily and so quickly. But that would go against the nature of romantic fiction, so we shan’t dwell on that too much. There are also some explicit sexual scenes. There is far more explicit scenes written in other books than this one, but there are clear sexual content that might make some readers shy away.
This is a romantic novel through and through, but it is willing to explore deeper issues such as the effects on a woman after being raped and it looks at what isolation from the world can do to a person. It explores morality and choices, and whether it’s right or wrong to keep secrets. This is no easy breezy soft novel for you to simply wander through. Rather is keeps you guessing as to the motivation of Holly’s mother to leave her at such a young age. It is slightly darker than a classic love story with a good bit of underlying mystery thrown in, but that’s what makes it so appealing; it’s much more than your typical romance novel.