A young girl needs to spread her wings, but a young woman needs roots.
English teacher Sarah Bray never thought she’d return to Sycamore Falls, but a traumatic event at her inner-city school leaves her desperate for the sanctuary of home. By returning to her roots, an older and wiser Sarah hopes to deal with the demons of her present and confront the ghosts of her past.
She discovers a kindred spirit in Lucas Miller, a teacher from New York with demons of his own. As the newest faculty members at Sycamore High School, they quickly become friends – bonding through Lucas’s culture shock and their mutual desire to build new lives. When they open their wounded hearts to each other, their friendship effortlessly evolves into romance.
Their love is put to the test when Matt, the quarterback of the football team, shares his deepest secret with Sarah. When the conservative community finds out, Sarah and Lucas – along with the town of Sycamore Falls – are schooled in the lessons of acceptance, tolerance, and love.
*Review copy provided by author in exchange for an honest review. The thoughts and ideas are entirely my own and in no way biased.*
This story. *sigh* Just this story. It is so good. More than that. Beautiful. Gorgeous. Poignant. Eye opening. It’s one of those books that makes you think, that makes you feel, that makes you cry. I loved it.
The story revolves around two high school teachers, Sarah and Lucas who are trying to escape from their past. They’ve both had horrible stuff happen to them for no fault of their own and it’s taken it’s toll on them. They find kindred spirits in each other. A mutual attraction, a few meddling friends and well wishers, an old, dilapidated house that needs lots of fixing and boom! They’re falling for each other.
But, this isn’t just their love story. It’s so much more than that. It’s about growing up in a small, sheltered, conservative community and how that can stop you from showing who you truly are. It’s about trying to live up to your family’s expectations and then failing them miserably, about hating yourself for who you are, even without any fault of your own. Some of the issues discussed in this story really hit home and made me think how hard life is.
Lying, putting on a mask, going through the motions because you don’t know what else to do. Because you’re afraid to tell the truth, to be who you are. It’s all love and praises when you’re doing what’s expected of you but all that turns into disgust just because you’re different. My heart really went out for Matt and all that the poor boy had to put up with. And still, he held on till the last possible moment. He was strong and honorable and so, so good. I really love him. He’s such an amazing character. He isn’t perfect, but he’s the closest thing to that. He has his flaws and there are times when he ventures into darkness, but you can’t help love him. He’s the real MVP in this story.
There’s Sarah who tries her best to support Matt because he’s her student and she loves all her students. But, his situation hits too close to home and there’s so much that she still carries around with her. She’s seen terrible stuff happen at her previous school and she still has nightmares about it. She has panic attacks and she’s still grieving her grandmother who passed away a few years ago. Add to that the overwhelming of coming back home and she’s a sort of mess. There are times when I felt that she should have held on more strongly, but I guess that being in her situation, I would have been a huger mess. So, I can’t really comment on that.
Lucas, God that man! He’s perfect. Literally. Which was a little hard to digest because it was hard to find one single flaw with man. Can cook. Check. Loves to cuddle. Check. Good with emotions. Check. Affectionate. Check. Patient and understanding. Double check. You see what I mean? While all this so good, I felt that maybe showing some flaws in him might have made him feel more real to me. He’s the perfect man we dream about coming and sweeping us off our feet. The one who knows us better than ourselves. Like I said, he’s a romantic girl’s dream come true, real life Prince Charming. And though I can’t fathom someone like him actually existing, he still made me swoon so hard. He’s just the best guy ever. I have all these feelings about him that I can’t even express in words.
This book is a must read if you’re a romance fan. You should read this even if you aren’t because there is so much more this than just being a love story. It really is a brilliant piece of work. After reading this I can’t wait to read more of Sydney’s works. I hope they’re just as good as this was.
Sydney Logan writes heartfelt romances that feature strong heroines and the heroes who love them. In addition to her novels, she has also penned several short stories and is a contributor to Chicken Soup for the Soul. Sydney holds a Master’s degree in Elementary Education and spends her days surrounded by kids and books. A native of East Tennessee, she enjoys playing piano and relaxing on her porch with her wonderful husband and their very spoiled cat.