When celebrity chef Chet Whitman drives his car off a Pacific Coast Highway cliff and dies, he wasn’t alone. Young Ashley Blake was in the car with him and survives, only to be an object of interest, especially when it’s leaked to the press that she’s pregnant. Joanna Whitman, his ex-wife who divorced him a year ago after endless infidelities during their 20 year marriage, recognizes her and knows she’s ill-equipped to handle the onslaught of media attention that even she is struggling to keep at a distance. Joanna decides she’s going to return to her coastal hometown of Silver Point, California for refuge but reaches out to Ashley and invites her along. It’s a scary proposition for Joanna, too, as it’s the first time she’s gone back since she married Cliff following her breakup with her teen lover.
the heart of the story…
I love this kind of drama and this surpassed my expectations. Yes, there’s a lot of baggage that Joanna is hauling as she returns to people she left behind and never continued contact. But, what may have seemed predictable turned out to be something more and complex. The whole process of reestablishing old, treasured relationships was even more complicated and tough. The bruised Joanna has worn a blank veneer for years as she suffered through the backlash of staying with a serial cheater who has a high profile. And, there’s even more intrigue involving Angela as she and Joanna navigate their new worlds together. I loved the relationship they created and the support they provided each other. The small town setting was an added bonus, too, with its charm and coastal location.
This was my first experience with Regina Reagan and she’s zoomed onto my top ten list of favorites! Her voice tone is just dreamy and her storytelling skills are perfect. Her character distinctions were subtle but enough for me to always know the right voice. She’ll be a tipping point for books I’m considering.
the bottom line…
I loved this story and enjoyed every moment of it. If I had any quibbles it’s that there were a few repetitive segments near the end that dragged a bit. Otherwise, Joanna’s journey to rediscovery and transformation was one I liked being a part of. We are so quick to judge these women who stay with bad men and rarely consider their reasons. It was helpful experiencing the other side and her generosity with Ashley spoke volumes about her character. This was the book I needed and hoped it would be. I was sad to leave this town and it’s community of good-hearted people. And, there’s a bit of romance just to sweeten an already fine story.
- Release Date: May 17, 2022
- Narrator: Regina Reagan
- Audio Length: 10 hours, 44 minutes
- Publisher: Harlequin Audio
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(Thanks to Harlequin Audio for my complimentary copy. All opinions are my own.)