Nicole Carrington, an attractive blonde in her early 40s, is dealing with a painful divorce after her husband of almost two decades leaves her for his secretary. When Nikki's home blows up, she moves into an apartment and gets a job as a waitress at her favorite restaurant, Annie's Organix.

There, Nikki meets Niraj, a darkly handsome Brit and learns to adjust to her solitary life. She and Niraj become fast friends, enjoying hikes in the shadow of nearby Pike's Peak. Nikki also finds companionship when she befriends her new neighbors, divorcee Roxanne and military wife Wanda. When Nikki's lifelong dream of owning her own perfume shop becomes a possibility, she finds closure in her divorce and copes with the angst of missing her daughter, Giselle, who lives with Nikki's ex-husband.

Beautifully written, Samuel's latest is an engrossing tale of one woman's ability to find inner strength in the midst of adversity. The romance between Niraj and Nikki is emotional and touching. This is a book to devour, one of Samuel's best to date. (Apr., 320 pp., $13.95)
Reviewed by: 
Sheri Melnick