Review of BROKEN PIECES by Carla Cassidy (see her website)
Signet, September 2008
Sixteen years ago, Mariah Sayers, pregnant and terrified, ran away from her small town home and made a new life for herself and her daughter in Chicago. She feared retribution from her abusive father, but she was even more frightened of the man who fathered her child--a man she couldn't identify who had brutally raped and beaten her.
Now her parents are both dead, and Mariah has come back to Plains Point, Missouri, to sell the house she inherited--and maybe to put some ghosts to rest.
For the most part, the town welcomes her back. She reconnects with old friends while her daughter makes new ones. One old friend in particular makes her heart beat faster; she meets veterinarian Jack Taylor when she brings in a stray, injured dog for treatment. She barely remembers him from high school, but he's certainly memorable now. He confesses that he had a near-obsessive crush on her in high school.
But not everyone is happy to see Mariah again. The wife of her old boyfriend makes no secret of her animosity. Someone breaks into Mariah's house and leaves threatening graffiti on her front door. And finally, Mariah's best friend visiting from Chicago is attacked and left for dead. But she survives, and it soon becomes apparent that the man who nearly killed her is the same one who raped Mariah all those years ago. Suddenly every man Mariah knows takes on a sinister edge, and all she wants to do is finish renovating the house so she can flee back to Chicago--before her daughter learns about her parentage.
Carla Cassidy's tale of small town drama, fear and romance rings true start to finish. Mariah is the kind of woman you would want as your best friend, and she's easy to root for as she navigates landmines of her past and the challenges of the present. Don't read this one when you're alone in the house!
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