Published by Berkley on September 1st 2015
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A “fantastic”* new romance from the author of Return to Me and "one of the top 10 reads of 2013"
For ten months, bestselling novelist Alec Winston hasn’t been able to type a single word, and he’s coming dangerously close to breaching his publishing contract. An invitation from his brother to spend the summer in Wilmington Beach might be just the thing to blast through his writer’s block. Yet Alec discovers more than a spark of inspiration on the sunny sands. He meets an amber-eyed muse who makes him think about much more than books . . .
Faith Armstrong has finally gathered the courage to leave her past behind and accepted a job as a private tutor, hoping for a fresh start on the North Carolina coast. This is the home she’s always longed for—not just a place, but a state of mind. She’s felt invisible her whole life, so the host of new friends and the attention of a sexy author have her head spinning.
But Alec has a secret that could prove this isn’t the life Faith dreamed of after all . . .
"Fun, emotional, and totally engaging!"~CARLA NEGGERS, New York Times Bestselling Author
It pains me to say this, but I was surprised to be very disappointed with this book, my dissatisfaction having less to do with Ms. Moran’s typically excellent and persuasive writing and more to do with her characters whom I began to dislike increasingly as I went further and further into the book. There are heartfelt moments which I appreciated between the women and the slight comic relief that the secondary characters provide prevents Alec’s and Faith’s story from becoming a soap-opera and what I felt was the saving grace of the plot.
But at the heart of it, Alec and Faith come across like a forced pairing over which I cannot muster any enthusiasm at all. I’ve made no secret of my preference for principled heroes and Alec Winston in this case, just seems to fall way outside this broad and nebulous category. I found his moral integrity and his penchant for self-indulgence questionable even if it’s a product of misplaced guilt – continuing to whore around town when a woman, who by any other name is still his (albeit brain dead) fiancée is still in a nursing facility -, and the conspicuous self-pity he seems to broadcast about always screwing things up wasn’t in any way sympathy-stirring but frustrating when he’d only sought to cover his guilt for the past decade rather than seek help for all the self-awareness he’d seemed to profess to have. On the other hand, Faith’s almost preternatural yearning for acceptance and neediness is more understandable but ultimately annoying when she seems to push precisely for a (non)relationship that pours salt into Alec’s gaping Achilles heel.
Overall, a mixed bag that I wish I could rate higher, given that I actually loved Ms. Moran’s Phantoms series.