After faking her own death, a mother on the run from her abusive husband is desperate to start a new life -- but as a new romance blossoms, he threatens to track her down . . .
It was a desperate plan. But Mary Grace Winters knew the only way to save herself and her child from her abusive cop husband was to stage their own death. Now all that remains of their former life is at the bottom of a lake. Armed with a new identity in a new town, she and her son have found refuge hundreds of miles away. As Caroline Stewart, she has almost forgotten the nightmare she left behind nine years ago. She is even taking a chance on love with Max Hunter, a man with wounds of his own. But her past is about to collide with the present when her husband uncovers her trail and threatens her hard-won peace. Step by step, he's closing in on her -- and everything and everyone she loves.
Since escaping her abusive cop husband and moving to Chicago seven years earlier, Mary Grace Winters has reinvented herself. With the help of a safe house for battered women, she changed her name to Caroline Stewart and her son's to Tom and secured a secretarial position at Carrington College. But unbeknownst to Caroline, her husband is on her trail, determined to reclaim his son and kill anyone who stands in his way. Meanwhile, Caroline struggles to live a normal life and open her heart to the love of a good man, Max Hunter. A handsome history professor and former NBA star, Max still bears physical and emotional scars from a long-ago car crash. But as their whirlwind romance progresses, enhanced by generous doses of steamy sex, Max realizes that Caroline's reluctance to commit stems from her past fears, not repulsion over his injury. Despite one stormy scene, in which Caroline and Max fling insults at each other and compare scars, first-time author Rose handles her subject matter well. She informs without preaching and allows her characters to sort through their emotions in a mature manner. As gripping as a cold hand on the back of one's neck, but tempered by lovable characters and a moving romance, this assured debut bodes well for Rose's future books.