About the Book:
Sometimes home is the refuge you need—and sometimes it isn't
Adelaide Davies, who's been living in Sacramento, returns to Whiskey Creek, the place she once called home. She's there to take care of her aging grandmother and to help with Gran's restaurant, Just Like Mom's. But Adelaide isn't happy to be back. There are too many people here she'd rather avoid, people who were involved in that terrible June night fifteen years ago.
Ever since the graduation party that changed her life, she's wanted to go to the police and make sure the boys responsible—men now—are punished. But she can't, not without revealing an even darker secret. So it's better to pretend….
Noah Rackham, popular, attractive, successful, is shocked when Adelaide won't have anything to do with him. He has no idea that his very presence reminds her of something she'd rather forget. He only knows that he's finally met a woman he could love.
This book manages to deal with a lot of serious topics within the framework of a happily ever after quick read romance. When you have romantic love for someone you are reasonably sure does not, and never will return that love, is expressing it appropriate? How do friendships change through the years; how should they? When is it time to let bygones be bygones--and when is it not? How does our past affect our ability to be married? How does going along with the gang get kids in trouble?
Addy was gang raped by the popular boys two years older than her on their graduation night. As noted above, something else awful happened that night too. When Addy returns to town someone wants to scare her enough to make her leave or at least to keep her mouth shut. The story begins with Noah rescuing Addy from that scare. From there we watch as she and Noah (on whom she had a crush as a teen) get to know each other again. Addy has to decide what to reveal about that horrible night all those years ago and who to protect. Who tried to silence her? Will the "boys" be brought to justice? What is justice in this case?
The other major plot thread is the relationship between Noah and his lifetime best friend, Baxter. Noah is becoming increasingly uncomfortable around Baxter but can't quite put his finger on why. Then one night when they are double "dating" (and Noah is hoping for some one-on-one time with his date), Baxter kisses Noah. Baxter and Noah are both part of a large group of young adults from Whiskey Creek who have been friends since high school. It turns out some of them know about Baxter, others suspect. What now? How does this change things? Does it have to?
There is plenty of non-marital intimate activity but it is described in only the most general way--if you are looking for an instruction manual you will be disappointed, yet is isn't really a "clean" read either.
I'd like to thank the publisher for making a review copy available via NetGalley. Grade B+.