by Christina Edson
Psychologist Reese Morgan is a feisty workaholic who has devoted her life to helping seriously ill children. But work is just one of the many walls she has put up to protect herself from the legacies of childhood trauma and heart-wrenching grief. When the family support program she has struggled to build at the local hospital is threatened, Reese must confront her past and embrace her future. Sparks fly when she comes face to face with a handsome visionary: the contractor who is set to demolish the children’s wing. Can Reese tear down the walls around her heart to let love in?
Read an excerpt:
Josh wasn’t watching where he was going; he was too busy watching the sailboats cruise by, seagulls swooping around their sails, hoping for something to eat. He savored mornings. There was a certain serenity in the air. Others who chose to enjoy the morning seemed to respect the same code. Passersby gave a friendly nod and stayed their course. The quietude allowed Josh to be aware of nature’s beauty.
Josh ducked as a shoe narrowly missed his head. He looked in the direction of the throw and saw Reese standing there, missing a shoe, seething at him. He wasn’t sure why she was so angry, but he didn’t dare approach in case she started to foam at the mouth.
“Nice throw, Reese,” Josh said with frustration, putting his hands on his knees and trying to catch his breath. “Mind telling me why you thought my head would be a perfect target?”
Reese strode toward him, her gait uneven. “Like you don’t know.” She let out an exasperated sigh. “To think I let myself believe that you loved me. And then you go and do this.” Reese threw her hands up in the air and shook her head. She started to pace, tip-toeing awkwardly on her sock-clad foot.
Josh and Reese meet by accident and kick off their volatile relationship with a fiery debate in the gym. When their paths cross again at the hospital, the fire between the two of them becomes more intense. It's one of those relationships that needs the animosity and debate to keep on going in order to sustain their passion. That intensity is what has drawn them to each other. Unfortunately, that intensity doesn't last, making this kind of passionate relationship difficult to maintain. Reese and Josh definitely have their ups and downs and it is hard to tell if they will be able to make it.
Both of them have their issues from their past, that have caused them so much pent up anger. The focus of the book is on Reese's past, losing her baby sister. That's what drives her in life. Until she can finally come to terms with that, she will not be able to find happiness at work, nor in love. Josh had a failed relationship that was glossed over. I would have liked to have had a bit more background on that, and more explanation of his feelings, I think. It didn't receive as much attention as Reese's sister, though Livvy is more of an impediment to their relationship.
Reese is supported by her two closest friends. Nikki has been a part of her life since they were kids. Julia is a new addition to the friendship ring, as she works with Reese at the hospital. Both woman are devoted to their friend and want nothing more than to see her finally be happy. Like the good girlfriends they are, they meddle and manipulate as much as they can to facilitate the process.
Reese and Nikki both have brothers, with whom they were close when growing up. Both of these brothers live and work abroad, and randomly show up. You know that they both have more to their stories yet to come, though not in this book. Each of them do play a significant role in the development of Josh and Reese's relationship. I did feel like their appearance was a bit more abrupt than what felt realistic.
Most of the characters in this book have a lot of mood swings that show multiple sides of their personalities. It can be hard to pinpoint consistency in their personalities. Nevertheless, they are an interesting group of people who kept me entertained throughout the book.
I did enjoy this book, and again could see that there is more to come in their stories. There is one incident with Julia toward the end of the book, though, that feels completely out of sync with the rest of the book. It is thrown in there to foreshadow the next book. For me, it bothered me because there was no more allusion to it, nor any further incidents. My only consolation was that there was an excerpt from the second book, at the end of this one, that helped to tie it back together. Without that excerpt, though, I was left trying to figure out why on earth it happened. I may have to check out the second book to find out what happens to Julia!
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Christina Esdon is a hopeless romantic and dreamer extraordinaire. She loves to see the world through rose-colored glasses (literally) and has the uncanny ability to find humor and joy in the small things in life. When not writing, she can be found frolicking along the shores of Lake Huron, taking notoriously long bubble baths or contemplating the next renovation to her home in Ontario, Canada. Work in Progress is Christina’s debut novel. You can visit her at www.christinaesdon.com.