High school teacher Sarah Bray never thought she’d return to Sycamore Falls, but a traumatic event at her inner-city school leaves her desperate for the sanctuary of her childhood home. Orphaned as a teenager and raised by her grandmother, she had severed all ties with the people of her hometown –including her best friend, Aubrey – in hopes of leaving everything behind her. By returning to her roots, an older and wiser Sarah hopes to deal with the demons of her present and confront the ghosts of her past.
While visiting the local hardware store, Sarah meets Lucas Miller, a history teacher who has recently transferred from New York. She discovers a kindred spirit in him and learns that he is battling demons of his own. As the newest faculty members of Sycamore High School, they form a friendship – bonding through Lucas’s culture shock and their mutual desire to build new lives in the secluded town. When they begin to open their wounded hearts and share their secrets, their friendship effortlessly evolves into romance, giving each of them hope that maybe they aren’t so wounded, after all.
Their newfound love is put to the test when Matt Stuart, the quarterback of the football team, shares his deepest secret with Sarah. Fearing the painful incident that drove her from the city has followed her to Sycamore Falls, Sarah grows fiercely protective of her student. Determined that history will not repeat itself, Sarah stands by Matt’s side as he faces the ridicule of his church, his teammates, and the school administration. When the conservative community finally learns his secret, Sarah and Lucas – along with the town of Sycamore Falls – are schooled in the lessons of acceptance, tolerance, and love.
This book caught my attention from the very first page and didn't let go until I was done with it. Sarah was a character that I was able to relate to on many levels and enjoyed getting to know. I rooted for her all the way through - her relationship, her career, her student, her life. I understood her desire to rediscover her roots and to spread her wings. I think you need to do both to find a balance in life.
Lucas almost seems too good to be true, but I love him. And sometimes those unbelievably perfect men really do exist. Sarah is lucky to have found him. I was reminded of someone I know in my own life.
Sarah's love and devotion to her students is incredibly endearing. I am also a teacher, so I was able to feel her fierce "Mama Bear" protection for Matt. This book had me in tears for a lot of it, especially toward the end. I felt a whole flood of emotions, ranging from fear to anger to elation to sadness. Sometimes I felt more than one at once. I have already recommended this book to some of my fellow teachers and book lovers.
About Sydney Logan
Sydney Logan holds a Master’s degree in Elementary Education and makes her home in the hills of East Tennessee.With the 2012 release of her first novel, Lessons Learned, she made the transition from bookworm to author. She has a very unhealthy obsession with music, and her iPod is filled with everything from Johnny Cash to Eminem. When she isn't reading or writing, she enjoys playing piano and relaxing on her front porch with her wonderful husband and their very spoiled cat.
Please visit her official website at www.sydneylogan.com.
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