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Nora Roberts. St. Martin’s, $28.99 (464p) ISBN 978-1-250-20710-4

An early trauma shapes the course of a woman’s life in this impactful drama from Roberts (Under Currents). Ten-year-old Cate Sullivan is a fourth generation actor whose famous great-grandfather has recently died. At a celebration of his life, Cate is kidnapped and held for ransom, but she soon escapes to a nearby ranch. Once the police begin investigating, it becomes evident that Cate’s mother planned the kidnapping as a way to make some quick money and is arrested. As Cate grows up, the shadow of what her mother did follows her; until, as a grown woman, she returns home and is reunited with Dillon, the boy whose family owns the ranch Cate escaped to after her kidnapping. But as Cate’s feelings for Dillon develop, she once again becomes the target of threats—which may be linked to the recent release of her mother from prison. The action unfolds quickly, though some threads resolve too neatly and the main twists feel abrupt. Cate, meanwhile, is a gritty and charismatic but often unbelievable protagonist—even as a kid her instincts are perfect. Nonetheless, fans of Roberts’s intense contemporary tales will enjoy this high-stakes love story. (May)