In the ten years since leaving her abusive husband and home country, Emma Malloy has built a life full of purpose and greater friendship than she could have imagined. But when she finds herself falling for her best friend's brother, Sean O'Connor, fear and shame threaten to destroy her. Will she ever be free to marry the man she loves?
Oh, I knew there would be some tough times in this book; how can there not be when Emma is separated from--but still married to--an abusive drunk? And still, I hurt for Emma and Sean so much! However, considering that Emma is not free, I thought the romance was very well done. For the most part, they are simply incredibly good friends that continue to grow closer and closer. And then when they discover they care more for each other than they had realized, they take pains not to push into adultery. And I wondered the whole novel how the "Rory issue" would be resolved so they could be together!
I revise my earlier opinion and state now that this is my favorite of the O'Connor novels so far. Sean has long been a favorite of the O'Connors - kind, tender, hard-working. I love his reserve and care, even if he has struggles buried under his friendly facade. And Emma, so scarred inside and out, is such a beautiful person. Even though she is sweet and genuine and apt to give too much of herself, she isn't a complete pushover anymore; she has learned to act with authority and to stand up for herself and others. In some ways it amazes me she is such good friends with Charity, and in other ways it's no surprise at all; they make quite the complementary pair.
This book ties in most with A Passion Redeemed and A Hope Undaunted, with a strong secondary focus on the sisters Charity and Katie. Thus we get to see the ups and downs of their marriages too; a strong reminder that even though the wedding is over, every couple still needs to work on and safeguard their marriage.
As usual, there is a very strong spiritual thread to the novel, with lots of truth printed in the pages. You can't deny the author's love of the Savior!
O'Connor Family Saga:
A Light in the Window
Daughters of Boston
1. A Passion Most Pure
2. A Passion Redeemed
3. A Passion Denied
Winds of Change
1. A Hope Undaunted
2. A Heart Revealed
3. A Love Surrendered