"An abandoned woman and her child find the forever love they lost."
Reviewed by Kay Quintin
Posted March 27, 2015
Julia Stewart has been principal of the Lobster Cove High
Mount Desert Island, Maine since her husband divorced her
three years ago.
Leaving her with a three-year-old daughter, Ava, her ex
left for Thailand,
breaking all ties with his daughter and Julia. Taking her
daughter to the ER with a broken arm, the new doctor on
staff alarms her
with his questions concerning possible child abuse. Dr.
insists getting to the bottom of the incident with x-rays
and calling in the
social worker, only angering Julia with the accusations.
Later the details are revealed that the accident happened
at her parents'
house while her mother was caring for Ava. It soon
that Dora Dawson is inflicted with Alzheimer's and her
old husband Paul has been keeping this private, hindering
his own health.
Alex signs a contract for two years as the ER doctor in
exchange for paying
his medical school debt. He can't wait to get through his
return to San Diego where he isn't compelled to become
involved with his
patients once they are treated. A small community with
no chance of
privacy is not what he wants; at least not until he
involved with Julia. Falling in love with the little girl
and her mother, isn't
something he expected. Julia can't take a chance again of
abandoned by someone she loves and has no intention of
Lobster Cove again. Convincing Julia he truly wants to
make his life in
the small community isn't going to be easy when her
confidence and trust
has been so cruelly breached.
This story in the Lobster Cove series is a most
delightful read. Complete
with loving people of this small town and even with the
upheavals popping up, everyone is bound by the ties of
caring for each
other. I was captivated by the warmth and love found
reading of this story. Now that I have read my first book
from Jana Richards,
I plan to add her to my "favorite author" list of reading
as an amazing
Dr. Alex Campbell has an agenda—finish his contract to
provide medical services in Maine, pay off his medical
school debt, and head back to his real life in San Diego.
But when he meets Julia, all his carefully laid plans are
put in jeopardy.
Julia Stewart, Lobster Cove’s high school principal,
she’ll never let another man drag her away from the home
loves. Her aging parents need her, and the Cove is where
wants to raise her daughter. When her mother’s illness
brings her and the big city doctor closer together, panic
sets in. Her marriage taught her men don’t stay.
Can she put aside the heartaches of the past and trust
enough to accept the love he’s offering? Or will her fear
abandonment mean she’ll send him away forever?
Excerpt“What did the x-ray find?” she asked.
“A spiral fracture of the right arm.” He paused for a moment and took a deep breath as
if trying to control his emotions. “I’ve seen this kind of injury before. A fracture
like this can be the result of a fall, but it can also be an indication of child abuse.
An arm as small as Ava’s will break like a twig if it’s twisted hard enough. I’m
obligated to contact the authorities if I suspect abuse.”
Julia stared at him in mute shock, her brain struggling to process his words, as if
trying to translate some unintelligible language. The words child abuse rang in
her ears. Finally she found her voice.
“You think someone deliberately hurt her?”
“Her injuries are consistent with abuse.”
“I don’t give a damn what they’re consistent with. Ava has not been mistreated. My
mother said she fell down the stairs, and if that’s what she said, then that’s what
“I believe there’s more to the story than a simple fall.”
“If it comes down to believing you or believing my mother, I’m going with my mother.”
“Perhaps you don’t know your mother as well as you think you do.”
Julia sucked in a breath and stared into Dr. Campbell’s dark, accusing eyes. The idea
that her mother would hurt Ava was ridiculous. She adored Ava, would do anything for
She blinked and looked away, remembering an incident the other day. She’d heard her
yelling at Ava about the milk she’d spilled on the kitchen floor, making such a huge
deal of it that Ava had cried. It had struck her as strange, since she couldn’t remember
her mother yelling at anyone, ever. She wasn’t as patient as she used to be. And how did
she explain her strange phone call telling her Ava had been hurt? Of course she’d been
upset, but her mother had been nearly incoherent with distress. Was something going on
she wasn’t aware of? She was seventy-one now. Maybe looking after a rambunctious five-
year-old was too much for her.
No. She shook her head to reject the disloyal thought. Dr. Campbell was the one
who was wrong.
“I know my mother. She didn’t do this. It was an accident.”
“We’ll soon find out. Sharon is questioning Ava now.”
Julia stared at the door. “She’ll be scared, all by herself.”
“Sharon’s very good at what she does. She has a way of making kids feel comfortable.”
Julia turned on him, the anger and despair she’d been holding inside spilling out. “And
you? Do you enjoy upsetting five-year-olds and turning families’ lives upside down? Does
it make you feel powerful to sic the authorities on us?”
“Look, Mrs. Stewart, I take no pleasure in bringing in the authorities. But I’ve seen
child abuse, up close and personal, and I can tell you it’s damn ugly. The things
parents and caregivers are capable of doing to defenseless children…”
He stopped abruptly, his chest heaving. Closing his eyes, he averted his face and took a
deep breath. When he turned back to her, his steely control was back in place. “So yeah,
if I have even the smallest suspicion that a child has been abused, I’m going to ask
questions. And I’m not going to apologize for it.”
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