Janine Henderson, a divorced mother of a 7-year-old, is dealing with trust issues with men. Richard Lowrey is a once-popular author who has been in seclusion for a few years since the tragic death of his wife and daughter.

To keep her job with a struggling publishing company, Janine is dispatched from New York to California to convince Richard to fulfill his contractual obligation of two books to the company. Richard runs into Janine on a beach in California, and they develop a relationship despite his reluctance to relinquish the guilt over his wife's and daughter's deaths.

The story goes back and forth between Richard and Janine's developing relationship and his strong memories of his wife. This is sometimes a distraction from the story because it feels like he's actually carrying on with two women.

Richard's father is a pivotal character with his sage advice and words of wisdom. He identifies with his son's pain because he is a widower himself.

Archer pens a good story of contrasts that shows how powerful the mind can be and how it can interfere and sabotage the lives of those who fall victim to negative thinking and excessive guilt. (Jun., 304 pp., $5.99)
Reviewed by: 
Debbie R. Sims