cover image The Way Back Home

The Way Back Home

Barbara Freethy. Pocket, $7.99 mass market (384p) ISBN 978-1-4516-3654-3

Bestseller Freethy (Don’t Say a Word) tugs hard at the heartstrings with this contemporary series launch set in smalltown Northern California. It hasn’t been an easy year for single mother Alicia Hayden: after a catastrophic accident involving her family’s venerable river rafting business, her twin brother, Rob, serving in the Marine Corps, is killed in action. Alicia is grieving Rob’s loss and dealing with the town’s accusations about the accident—which left her best friend’s fiancé dead—when Rob’s best friend, Gabe Ryder, a fellow Marine, arrives in River Rock. Gabe and Alicia had a short but passionate affair years earlier, and while Alicia is now dating a local schoolteacher whose son is best friends with her nine-year-old, she can’t deny that she’s still strongly drawn to Gabe. As an escalating series of incidents threatens to bankrupt the rafting company, Alicia and Gabe begin to realize the truth about their relationship and its future. Freethy’s skillful plotting and gift for creating sympathetic characters will ensure that few dry eyes will be left at the end of the story. Agent: Karen Solem, Spencerhill Associates. (July)