By Nicholas Sparks
Release/Publish Date: October 13, 2015
Themes: Love, revenge, suspense.
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Nicholas Sparks continues with his known reputation with the romance genre with this rollercoaster story of love and drama. The book jacket has a white border and a picture of a beach with dead roses on the sand. The background is unfocused, which brings the reader’s attention to the dead roses.
Colin Hancock has a second chance in life. With his history of violence and the threat of prison haunting him every day, he is motivated to keep moving on with his life. Maria is the daughter of Mexican immigrants with a degree from Duke Law School and a job at a distinguished law firm in Wilmington, North Carolina. Despite her picture-perfect track record, she has a traumatic past that drives her back to her hometown. Maria and Colin have a chance encounter on a rainy night, “The rain blew in soft sheets, making the oncoming headlights shimmer,” and meet again with the help of Serena, Maria’s younger sister. They start to form a romantic relationship but start to take a turn when Maria’s traumatic past comes to light. It is unclear throughout the story who caused these scary events, thought to be an act of revenge. These events start with dead flowers in Maria’s and threatening notes. Then, Maria’s worries grow as her family becomes a target and the messages and actions to more violent acts. “It takes over—fear, I mean. No matter how hard you try to fight it, it takes over, crushing the life out of you.” During this part of the story, there are many twists and turns. Readers will surely be on the edge of their seats. Colin goes to great lengths to protect Maria and her family. This novel is slightly different from what Sparks is usually known for, such as A Walk to Remember, Safe Haven, The Last Song, The Notebook, and many others, but is captivating nonetheless. Those familiar with his work would also know that many of his books have become film adaptations. Those unfamiliar with his work will find his books and movies very enjoyable.
When I first saw this book in the book store, I knew I could not leave the store without buying it. I had read Nicholas Sparks’ previous works and have enjoyed reading them. He packs each story with lots of emotion and adventure. Sparks can pull the reader into his stories and make them feel like they are a part of the journey. The adventure, the suspense, everything in this story will keep the reader on their toes. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and definitely recommend it.