Author: Nora Roberts
Performed by Julia Whelan
Released: April 2012 by Brilliance Audio
Elizabeth had a very sheltered and structured upbringing with her cold and unloving mother, who only had a child (by a donor) for twisted reasons. She was always a model child until, at the age of 17, an act of defiance changed her life forever.
Imagine the thrill, excitement and apprehension, after always following 'the rules', of planning something that's never been allowed before, wanting just to be like everyone else, doing something her mother regards with disdain and yet Elizabeth knows an average teen takes for granted.
So, while her mother is out of town Elizabeth goes to the mall for some new clothes, jeans and make up. There she meets Julie, a girl she remembers from high school. They team up, have a shopping spree and decide on a night on the town.
Elizabeth's small rebellion ends in murder and a life turned upside down. She enters a witness protection program, which doesn't go as planned, and ends up running for her life.
Twelve years later Abigail lives very privately near a small town in Arkansas with an arsenal of firearms and an extremely well trained guard dog, Bert. The local sheriff, Brooks, is intrigued by the town's 'hermit' and suspects all is not as it seems. He doesn't give up and eventually begins to bring her out of her shell with his easy going charm and appeal. Together they decide enough is enough and a certain situation needs to be resolved if Abigail and Brooks can have a life together.
Julia Whelan does a great job and I enjoyed her narration a lot. Her characterisations aren't over the top and there are definite distinctions between the characters, which brings them and the story to life.
One of my favourite Nora Roberts titles, the story flows seamlessly. I like the way Elizabeth is introduced as a teenager and knowing her story make her actions completely understandable. There are shocking and sad events, the characters are warm and realistic and the bad guys are sinister and menacing.