A tender, romantic novel about two wounded souls who find each other and ponder the risk of trying to love again.
India Evans is a reporter and anchorwoman for NBC’s Today show, filmed in New York City. She’s set to marry Jack Sterling, a dashing meteorologist at a rival network, and the highly publicized celebrity union is sure to advance her career. But India is plagued by doubt, and when she realizes that she doesn’t truly love Jack, she cancels the wedding. Her ratings plunge and her superiors strongly suggest that she take a hiatus from work. India plans a respite at Blackberry Farm in Walland, Tennessee—a gorgeous, bucolic resort that’s a short drive from Knoxville. There, she meets Wyatt Hinch, a freelance photographer, and she’s immediately drawn to him, finding his combination of rugged good looks and easy kindness irresistible. But he has his own reasons to be wary of love: he lost both his parents in a car crash when he was 15 and later lost his wife to illness. To further complicate matters, he and India unexpectedly encounter Jack at a special dinner hosted by a celebrity chef—Jack’s new girlfriend. During the event, Jack plants seeds of doubt in Wyatt’s mind about his new relationship. As Wyatt and India’s affair becomes more serious, they must make hard decisions about the courses of their lives. In her debut novel, author Thome writes with a winning charm and peppers her prose with a quirky wit: “Wyatt cranked up the music on his iPod….Eminem informed him that he only had one shot, and that this opportunity comes once in a lifetime.” Along the way, she realistically depicts the pain of profound loss, and the fear of vulnerability that such trauma can conjure. The plot itself doesn’t break any new ground, as it’s essentially a variation on well-worn themes, but Thome develops it with a companionable mix of sweetness and drama.
An enjoyably readable love story.