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Twenty-one year-old Scarlett Strohman has had to walk a difficult path thus far in her young life. Raised by a neglectful mother and an alcoholic grandmother before entering the foster care system, she's never met the father who abandoned her before birth. Scarlett is tough, embittered, and has a chip on her shoulder that's nearly as big as her goal to make something meaningful out of her life. She works three jobs to put herself through college, frequently goes to bed hungry, and is wary around most people, having been betrayed and let down far too many times to trust easily.
Jackson Gilmore has, by contrast, lived a life of privilege and comfort, the youngest child of a wealthy, prestigious family. He's always felt like something of an oddball in his family, though, the only one with enough guts to frequently stand up to and defy his controlling, dictatorial father. His desire to leave town and make a life of his own had to be put on hold, however, when his beloved niece fell seriously ill with a life threatening disease. And it is his overwhelming sense of obligation to do anything to help his niece that brings Jackson into Scarlett's life once he realizes the connection between the two girls.
Sparks instantly ignite when Scarlett and Jackson meet for the first time, and as they gradually come to know each other – reluctantly so on her part – he feels both admiration for what she's made of her life, compassion for all that she's suffered, and an emotional and physical attraction that is both powerful and entirely forbidden.
As long held secrets are revealed, and Scarlett comes face to face with unpleasant reminders of her past, will she be able to rely on Jackson to stand by her? Or will he be just one more in a long line of all those who have failed her?
“Thanks for the roses,” Scarlett muttered ungraciously as she did her best to stick them in the vase, given that floral arranging really wasn’t one of her talents.
He chuckled. “You’re welcome. Sorry I didn’t answer my phone earlier when you called. I was in the shower in my hotel room. I’m staying at the Claremont again in case you were wondering.”
“I wasn’t,” she retorted as she carried the vase into the dining area, placing it carefully in the center of the table. “Though I suppose I should ask what brings you to town.”
Jackson spread his arms wide. “It’s moving day, isn’t it? Figured you could use some help putting your things away. Not to mention celebrating your new place. Thought I’d take you out to dinner someplace nice. And not that Chinese place you dragged me to that first time.”
“You’re such a snob, Jackson. And what makes you think I don’t already have plans for this evening?” she asked him. “Or that I’d want to go out with you? In case you didn’t get the message, I’m good and pissed off at you right now.”
He rolled his eyes heavenward. “So what else is new? I think you’ve been mad at me for one reason or another since the day we met.”
3 out of 5 (good)
Independent Reviewer for Archaeolibrarian - I Dig Good Books!
Scarlett has had a rough life abandoned, in and out of foster homes, stabbed, unloved, unwanted. Out of the blue somebody shows up representing her useless father great that's all she needs! Or is it exactly what she needs to change her life?
This was an intriguing story I enjoyed getting to know the characters and where they come from there backgrounds and struggles through life. The sex scenes were very steamy but also quite repetitive. Some of the bits of the story do seem like there repeating things that have been said before.
It is a lovely story about finding yourself, love family and fighting demons and doubts.
A nice story overall just a bit repetitive in places.
** same worded review will appear elsewhere **
* A copy of this book was provided to me with no requirements for a review. I voluntarily read this book, and the comments here are my honest opinion. *
Janet is a lifelong resident of the San Francisco Bay Area, and currently resides on the coast just south of the city with her husband Steve and Golden Retriever Max. She worked in the financial services industry for over 20 years before turning her focus to producing running events. She has been writing for decades but Serendipity is her first self-published work. She plans five more related books in this series, each one a standalone, so never any cliffhangers or long waits to see what happens next!