This is another new-to-me author that I’m going to have to look up more of her back list, because I quite enjoyed this book. While it had an aura of sadness to it, I found it sad in a good way, if that makes any sense.
Emma Cooper has recently lost both her father, a fireman killed in the line of duty, and her mother due to cancer. Her mother’s last wish was for Emma to look up an Aiden Sheffield and the two of them scatter her ashes in a small town that her mother had lived in. Emma finds Aiden, a young man not much older than she is, but he’s not at all pleased when she introduces herself and tells him about her mother’s request. In fact, he is downright rude to her.
But he knows how brutal the town of Linx, Texas is and his conscience kicks in and he very reluctantly agrees to accompany her, with a few conditions. Thus begins a road trip during which he slowly and very reluctantly tells her of his story with her mother. And what he tells her rocks her world.
I find both Emma and Aiden such well-developed but sad characters. It hadn’t been that long since Emma lost her parents and she is still reeling from her loss. She also lost her home because of horrendous medical bills. She is unemployed and she’s had to drop out of school. But, despite this, she is a very warm and caring young woman. Maybe because I went through a series of tragedies myself a number of years ago when I lost both my job and my husband of thirty-two years I could relate to Emma. Despite the sadness, life goes on and we have to adjust to our new realities.
And reading Aiden’s story is heartbreaking. He was raised by a monster, a true monster. Emma’s mother had been his stepmother for a while. Because of so many painful memories of Linx, Aiden really does not want to go, but he needs to make sure Emma will be okay and not taken by the monster that abused him for so many years. Seldom have I read a book with such an evil person. A bit of a warning for those thinking of reading this book – the torture he puts Aiden through is quite vividly written and tough to get through in parts.
But come through it Aiden does, and, despite where he came from, he is such a warm, caring, and beautiful man. He helps operate a dog shelter and it’s a perfect place for him to be.
While on their road trip, Emma and Aiden come to care for each other and then feelings deepen even further.
This is such a wonderful and emotional book. I was awed when I read the author couldn’t even speak English when she first found herself in the US and I found it even more amazing that she has learned how to write so very well. I’ve since purchased another book she has written and I can see myself rereading this one again, since it’s one of those books that I found hard to put down and rushed through it, wanting to see how it ended. Now I need to go back and savour it more slowly. I’m very pleased to recommend this book.
Emma Cooper is determined to fulfill her mother’s dying wish to scatter her ashes with Aiden Sheffield in Linx, Texas. Just one problem. Why Texas and who the hell is Aiden Sheffield? The only clue is a faded piece of her mother’s stationary. Emma imagines Aiden is a former love of her mother’s, but when she meets the beautiful, damaged stranger, she realizes her assumptions couldn’t be more wrong. He’s hot and young. And Emma is as confused as ever.
Aiden Sheffield would rather go to hell than Linx. Who does Emma think she is disrupting his carefully built life? The last thing the Marine needs is to slice open the sealed wounds of his painful past. Yet, as he gets to know the lovely Emma, a woman who manages to smile even though she’s lost everything, he changes his mind. He will not let her go to hell alone.
But neither is prepared for the devastating evil waiting for them at the end of the road. It might just destroy them.
No excerpt available.