Tristan Collins knows Lane Bryce is strictly hands-off. She’s smart, funny, kind…and married. But he still looks forward to her once-a-week visits to the family pub where he tends bar. When she fails to arrive one Wednesday, Tris is concerned. When he learns she’s in the hospital, brutally beaten after attempting to leave her unhappy marriage, he’s enraged. Tris vows to protect her, but doesn’t get the chance—Lane checks out of the hospital and disappears without a trace.
A year later, newly divorced Lane is back, and enjoying her independence too much to embark on a relationship. Tris intends to prove she can have freedom and love, and he’s not above using seduction to do it. The more she resists, the more he sets her body ablaze with pleasure the likes of which she’s never known.
After a lifetime of disappointment, trust doesn’t come easily for Lane. But when her ex-husband reenters her life, threatening her independence, her happiness, she could discover too late that Tristan is the one man worthy of not only her trust, but also her love.
As much as Tristan likes Lane he knows that they can only be friends. Lane is married and Tris won’t cross that line. Tristan and Lane do become the best of friends though. They met when Lane started coming into Tristan’s family pub every Wednesday night and sitting and talking for hours. Lane once told Tris that she looked forward to Wednesday nights like someone looks forward to a birthday – she loved spending time with him, especially since she was so unhappy in her marriage.
Lane’s husband is a verbal abuser. He criticizes everything that Lane does or wears or cooks, or anything about her body or hair. The man cannot be in her presence without making her feel like she’s 2 feet tall. When Lane decides she’s had enough he catches her in the act of leaving and beats her bloody. Lane is hospitalized but calls Tristan as she knows he’ll be worried about her since it’s a Wednesday. Tris vows to Lane that he’ll take care of her and she won’t have to worry about her husband any longer. When Tris shows up at the hospital the next morning Lane is gone and Tris can’t find her.
Skip forward a year. Tris has finally come to terms that Lane is gone and won’t be coming back. But the night he figures this out, she walks in the door healthy and happy. She’s come done some growing and learning and she’s ready to make it in life as an independent woman and that means with no man involved. But that’s not what Tris wants. Oh, he doesn’t want to take her independence away but he wants into her life, he wants to stay there forever and he makes showing her that fact his life’s goal.
This was a very sweet but at times difficult book to read. Tris and Lane together were very sweet. Tristan showing Lane how much he cared and loved her in so many different ways was quite touching – especially after what she had gone through with her husband. I did think at times that Tristan was pushing Lane a bit too hard but it seemed to work in the end.
The difficult part involved an almost rape scene that had me cringing. Let me qualify that – the rape scene is not between Lane and Tris. Tris does push Lane emotionally but never does he push her physically into doing anything that she doesn’t agree to.
On the whole it was a good book with lots of family involvement on Tristan’s side and lots of sex and of course love. If you’re looking for a contemporary read that might push a few of your buttons than this would be a great read for you.
Rating: 4 out of 5
You can read more from Tracy at Tracy’s Place
This book is available from Ellora’s Cave. You can buy it here in e-format.