Book 2 in The Heart Tides Series.
As the summer of 1934 fades away, Julianna McAllister has every reason to believe she’s widowed from her new husband and the great love of her life, Jace McAllister. She had been a rogue wave when they first met, resisting a shore where her wealthy family’s expectations weighted her down like heavy sand. The worst weight was a finance’ named Leyton, who was driven to the shore by strong currents of greed.
Like a tide that carried her to a better land, Jace helped her navigate away from that shore---until a staggering secret from his past collided with Leyton’s determination to reclaim and possess her in hopes of controlling her family’s wealth. The devastating outcome now finds Julianna forced to return to the world she had escaped, only now she’s accompanied by grief as she accepts Leyton’s triumph.
But does she really accept it?She predicts he’ll one day fall and plans to patiently ride out the waves---until one she never anticipated crashes in, forcing her to reconsider how she charts her existence with a man whose name rhymes with Satan.
All Julianna wants is a safe and solid shore on which to freely build a new and peaceful life, but two more unexpected waves are ahead, one with the power to destroy and one with the power to restore. Which will overtake the other and her life?
Morton (Watching the Water) has assembled a remarkably melodramatic mess set in the Depression-era South, the far-fetched tale of a privileged girl and the man she soldiers through a dizzying plethora of disasters to be with. Julianna Sheffield is in love with honorable, stoic Jace McAllister, who robbed Julianna's father's bank after her father callously caused many customers to lose everything. After the two elope, Jace is dragged off to jail and Julianna is hauled back home to marry Leyton, a cartoonish villain devoid of any redeeming qualities, whom readers will hate from his first appearance. Julianna believes that her true love is dead (he's actually in an early version of the witness protection program), so she gives in and marries Leyton, hoping desperately (as will readers) that her odious new husband will get his well-deserved comeuppance in short order. An unexpected baby and the expected revelation of Jace's survival heap on the complications. Morton creates a few endearing characters notably Julianna's dramatic, Lucky-smoking best friend, Virginia but Leyton's all-consuming evil and Julianna's continuing willingness to put up with it are nearly impossible to get past.