Angel DeMarco has been running from his personal demons all his life. One of Hollywood's legendary bad boy actors, Angel's lifestyle has wreaked havoc on an already damaged heart. The only thing left now that will save Angel's life is a heart transplant. Ironically he is shipped home to Seattle to await his turn for the potentially life-saving surgery.

A heart surgeon, Dr. Madeline Hillyard is one of the best transplant surgeons in the country. However, she, too, is unprepared to face the past when she discovers that her newest patient is none other than her former teenage lover and the father of her 16 year-old daughter Lina.

Recently mother and daughter have been drifting apart, causing a wide emotional gap to develop. Lina has insisted that she be allowed to meet her biological father, but Maddy has repeatedly denied her request. Even Catholic Father Francis DeMarco refuses to divulge what he knows. Francis is in the unique and painful position of dearly loving both God and Maddy. Francis couldn't love Lina any more if he were her father, as opposed to her uncle. Neither Francis nor Maddy want to reveal the secret they have kept for so long.

Angel is a man facing his own mortality and the mistakes of the past. If he does agree to the transplant, can he completely change his lifestyle? Angel is dumbfounded and frightened when Maddy reveals that he has a daughter. He is so screwed up, how can he possibly deal with a child? Angel turned his back on Maddy's love once before; this time could Maddy and Lina be the foundation he needs to start life anew?

Extraordinary author Kristin Hannah explodes into the world of contemporary fiction with her most powerful, thought-provoking and emotionally complex novel to date. This is one story you will never forget. (Dec., 384 pp., $5.99)

Reviewed by: 
Jill M. Smith