Back in high school, Lee Archer had the power to make Jessie Baxter’s cheeks flush and her heart race. But the popular athlete never wanted to be more than just friends. Ten years later, after a failed marriage and with her journalism career on shaky ground, Jessie’s come home for her high school reunion—and Lee still has the power to make her knees weak and her pulse pound.
Lee's teenage years were filled with more trauma and drama than anyone guessed. Though his damaged past has helped make him a successful police detective, it's hurt every relationship he's tried. But seeing the grown-up, stunning Jessie might just change his commitment-phobic mind.
Jessie’s psycho ex-husband had her convinced no one would ever love her, but Lee is ready to step out of the friend zone and into her heart. Can she learn to trust again before she loses her chance to turn her first crush into her last love?
Elizabeth McKenna’s novel will have you remembering the angst of high school, the grief of a failed relationship, and the joy of finding true love at last.
McKenna uses alternating perspectives to chart the winding roads that bring two soulmates to discover true love in this sweet, if superficial, novel. Jessie Baxter knew her high school crush on Lee Archer was real love even if he didn't. No matter what she did, Lee saw her as a trusted friend but not a romantic prospect. When Lee fled his violent stepfather, Jessie was bereft, and she married the first man to show her any attention. While her marriage crumbles under the weight of her husband's drinking, emotional immaturity, and abuse, Lee forges a career in the Chicago PD. Fate, in the form of a 10-year high school reunion, brings them back together, forcing both Jessie and Lee to reconsider all that might have been between them. The choice of 1989 as a setting is never explored or justified, coming across primarily as a justification for an uncomfortably stereotypical storyline about Jessie's gay brother contracting HIV. Though the reunion of these long-lost sweethearts is earnest and rewarding, the lack of nuanced emotional development robs this story of real impact. (BookLife)