Narrator: Jeffrey Kafer, Seraphine Valentine
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She’s the only one who ever loved him—and the only one he can never have.
Jude lost everything one spring day when he crashed his car into an apple tree on the side of the road. A man is dead, and there's no way he can ever right that wrong. He’d steer clear of Colebury, Vermont forever if he could. But an ex-con in recovery for his drug addiction can’t find a job just anywhere.
For Sophie Haines, coming face to face with the man who broke her heart is gut-wrenching. Suddenly, he’s everywhere she turns. It’s hard not to stare at how much he’s changed. The bad boy who used to love her didn’t have big biceps and sun-kissed hair. And he’d never turn up volunteer in the church kitchen.
She knows it’s foolish to yearn for the man who returned all the heartsick letters she wrote him in prison. But the looks he sends her now speak volumes.
No one wants to see Sophie and Jude back together, least of all Sophie's police chief father. But it's a small town. And forbidden love is a law unto itself.
I really enjoyed this sequel. This author definitely puts some thought and research into this book because I felt like I gain a new perspective into the struggles of a recovering addict. I really empathized with Oliver and how every day his thirst for a fix was rated. Wow, my heart went out to both Jude and Sophie.
Jude Nickel’s seasonal employment at the Shipley farm was over and he was forced to return home to Colebury, a town he had been avoiding since he was released from prison and his drug rehab program. There were a lot of painful issues from his father to the loss of the only woman he has ever loved. I was on pins and needles since the relapse rate for recovering opiate addicts released from jail can be as high as 80%. But Jude was determined and with some luck along with the Shipley Clan, Jude was able to establish some routine in his life.
I appreciate the way the author wrote the reunion between Jude and Sophie Haines. It wasn’t all flowers and candy, but it wasn’t as brutal as I had expected. Sophie was a good heroine. She was strong, loyal and persistent. I wonder how she turned out that way because it wasn’t due to her parents. Her fortitude was the perfect counterbalance to the seemingly broken Jude. In her flashbacks, Jude was cocky, brash and sassy. Present day Jude was a man who was doing his best to navigate his land mine of a life. It was apparent that Jude took his sobriety very seriously and it was wonderful to see Mae Shipley and the others keep an eye on him.
Jude and Sophie had that abiding love and it was healing for the both of them. Sophie’s family dynamics was the only befuddling subplot in this book. There was no true explanation for the behavior and it made their actions baffling. It kept this story from being a 5-star read.
I still enjoyed every other character and felt emotionally engaged to their love story. I can’t wait for Zach’s book.