Harlequin SuperRomance, Aug 7 2012, $5.50
Single Angela Bartlett visits her BFF Billie Young, a mother of small children (Charlie and Eva), to wish her friend a happy thirty-second birthday. Suddenly in a shallow voice, Billie complains her chest hurts before falling unconscious on the kitchen floor. Billie dies from a previously undetected congenital heart defect.
Billie’s depressed husband Michael takes a one year leave of absence to help him and his children move passed their grief. Ten months after watching her friend die, Angela worries that neither Michael nor the kids are healing so she decides an intervention is in order. However, the two adults are appalled by their attraction that causes each feelings of survivor guilt over dissing the memory of their beloved Billie.
This is a tender second chance at life family drama that starts with the tragic death of a beloved mom and follows with the aftermath lack of adjustments by those she left behind. Character driven, readers will appreciate Sarah Mayberry’s strong contemporary as the Nazareth song is right that “Love hurts, love scars, love wounds …”, but as Michael learns love lives.