cover image Every Breath

Every Breath

Nicholas Sparks. Grand Central, $28 (320p) ISBN 978-1-5387-2852-9

Bestseller Sparks returns from a two-year hiatus with a heart-wrenching tale of fate and circumstance. Hope, a 36-year-old American trauma nurse, and Tru, a 42-year-old safari guide from Zimbabwe, meet while on a beach vacation in North Carolina. Hope, who is there for a friend’s wedding, and Tru, who is meeting his estranged American father for the first time, immediately take a liking to each other. After falling in love over the course of one weekend, the two are forced to confront reality as Tru learns devastating secrets about his family’s past and Hope’s on-and-off boyfriend of six years, Josh, reaches out to amend their latest breakup. When their weekend comes to an end, Hope must choose between the comfortable life she always dreamed of with Josh and exploring new possibilities with Tru. What follows is an epic romance featuring plenty of heartbreak, which helps facilitate empathy for otherwise lackluster characters. Sparks’s depiction of Hope’s father’s battle with ALS is particularly moving, as is Tru’s well-plotted family drama. The rich setting helps bring life to their story, making this a worthwhile venture for romance readers despite the cookie-cutter protagonists. Sparks fans will not be disappointed. (Nov.)